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Capital Markets

Debt: Capital markets roar into life

Corporate issuance expected to fall by 20%; Financial firms will dominate capital markets this year

The global debt capital markets were quickly into gear in early January, with borrowers keen to take advantage of the buoyant issuing conditions that typified 2009, a record year for Eurobond markets. That’s unlikely to be repeated, but there’s a sense that while the going is good borrowers should grab the opportunity because tougher times might be coming in the capital markets.

Financial firms dominated the beginning of the year, with more than $40 billion of bonds issued in the US in the first week and $24 billion issued on one day, matching the record for a day’s issuance achieved in February 2009. General Electric, Lloyds Banking Group, Dexia and ING Bank were the biggest issuers in the US market.

In Europe, the European Investment Bank and Rabobank led the way for financial issuers. National Australia Bank and Barclays did dollar deals in the US. This is a big year for the banks, with large volumes of debt to refinance and new liquidity rules placing greater burdens on their funding costs.

"There’s pressure on banks in terms of increasing liquidity requirements, so the cost of liquidity will go up, and there’s significant medium-term funding, with senior debt replacing secured debt, it will be a very busy year in the FIG arena," says Richard Boath, co-head of global finance, EMEA at Barclays Capital.

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