Convertible bonds
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Convertible bonds

It has been a banner year for new issues of convertible bonds, with many forces working together, especially in Europe, to support the primary market. Low interest rates and hopes for equity market growth have prompted more and more investors to buy convertibles and the pressure on companies to enhance shareholder returns and to unwind cross-holdings has prompted the issuers. High stock market volatility, following last year's financial meltdown, has also helped the market. This is the full text version of a roundtable discussion, exclusive to Euromoney On-Line.


Thanks to the following for taking part

Jeffrey A. Seidel, vice-president, global convertible research,
Matthew Miller, vice-president, US convertible research,
Mark Conway, vice-president, global convertible credit research,

Credit Suisse First Boston

Jeremy Herrmann, head of European convertibles,

JP Morgan

Shyam Parekh, executive director,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Christopher Davenport, head of international convertible research,

Salomon Smith Barney

Muriel Blanchier, head of convertible research,


Katalin Tischhauser, global head of convertible research,

Warburg Dillon Read

1. What, in your view, best explains the issuance surge we have seen in the convertible bond market over the past 18 months?

Katalin Tischhauser, Warburg Dillon Read:

Globally, we have seen about a 35% to 40% increase in the pace of issuance in 1999 year-to-date compared with 1998, and a similar increase in 1998 over 1997. A lot of this is down to the increased issuance from Europe. Including reverse convertibles, European issuance has been increasing at an annualised 80% rate since 1996. European issuance this year has accounted for half of the global issuance, while the market capitalization of Europe remains at around 28% of the global market - the European market continues to grow in relative size and remains the engine of growth in global convertibles.

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