Perspectives Blog

Credit alternatives in government-backed debt

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 23, 2014

One way investors may boost yields without taking on undue credit risk is through U.S. government agency debt. While many investors associate U.S. agency debt with very low yields, other types of agency debt can offer significant spreads to Treasuries with a modest decline in liquidity. We have been increasing our allocation to the agency market in core portfolios as a way to reduce credit risk while maintaining competitive yields. By Carl W….

How bad is China’s credit crisis?

Weili Jasmine Huang, Senior Portfolio Manager | February 3, 2014

only about 7% of total banking sector assets. Another shadow banking product is wealth management products issued by banks at Rmb10trn, less than 10% of bank’s total deposit base. • China has only 10% of gross external debt of gross domestic product (GDP), almost the smallest among all emerging countries. That means debts are largely domestically funded, and by adding in all forms of non-loan and off-balance sheet credit, the resulting ban…

Comments on the effect on global markets from the Ukraine crisis

Mark Burgess, Chief Investment Officer, Threadneedle Investments | March 12, 2014

To date, the fallout from the Ukrainian crisis has been largely confined to the emerging market debt, emerging market equity and commodity markets. At current levels, emerging market local currency debt appears to offer value, although we expect both the hard and local currency markets to remain volatile in the short term. Emerging equities reflect concerns not only around Russia and Ukraine but also the weaker growth outlook in Brazil and China…

The role of income inequality

March 3, 2014

e global financial crisis. Most studies now point to the lack of income growth for the bottom 95% of the income distribution in combination with an unsustainable rise in borrowing as a causal factor that escalated the crisis. Debt levels relative to income escalated during the same period, but more perilously for the bottom 95% (see Exhibit 2). Debt is merely borrowed spending from the future, and becomes particularly onerous if incomes do not ri…

From tactical to core – The case for emerging market debt

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 2, 2014

For many investors, emerging market debt could be viewed as a core-portfolio holding rather than a short-term tactical investment. 2013’s re-pricing created value in terms of higher yields, a more dedicated investor base and a better relative value argument. Flexibility across the full spectrum of EMD investment opportunities is extremely important, as emerging markets are not homogenous. By Patrick McConnell, Director, Fixed Income Product Ma…

Trouble in paradise: Q&A about Puerto Rico bonds

Chad Farrington, CFA, Head of Municipal Bond Credit Research and Senior Portfolio Manager | January 2, 2014

Why has Puerto Rico become such an issue now? Should investors be concerned with a downgrade or default? Is Puerto Rico a systemic risk for the municipal market? Historically, Puerto Rico (PR) bonds’ high yield and triple tax exemption (federal, state and local) had been a big lure for many institutional investors, such as mutual funds. PR debt exposure in municipal bond funds, namely single-state municipal bond funds, proved advantageous for sh…

How will the Volcker rule impact capital markets?

Richard Manuel, CFA, Senior Analyst | January 6, 2014

…r holding as many securities in their capacity as market makers. However, there have been many other regulatory changes beyond Volcker that serve to discourage banks from holding inventory. Dealer inventory as a percentage of debt outstanding Source: Bloomberg, November 2013 Despite the reduction in inventory levels, the fixed-income markets have been functioning rather efficiently. However, it might by premature to declare victory. Over the las…