Fitch: Strong Debt Capital Market Activity in 2012 Continues to Extend Out Refinancing Cliff

CHICAGO--()--Loan refinancing activity and robust high-yield bond issuance extended or diminished $370 billion of loans within the refinancing cliff timeframe during the first three quarters of 2012. Despite the significant process made in 2012, the market still needs to refinance or extend approximately $632 billion of loans expected to mature between 2013 and 2014, according to the new report 'Bridging the Refinancing Cliff, Volume VI,' published by Fitch Ratings today.

Of the $357 billion of loan issuance through the first three quarters of 2012, approximately 57% of issuance has been directed towards refinancing. The U.S. high-yield bond market has also contributed greatly in redistributing loans as bond-for-loan takeout volume totaled $68 billion through the first three quarters of 2012.

Issuers have been intensely focused on extending the peak years of the refinancing cliff. Since the beginning of 2011, approximately $120 billion of loans coming due in 2013 and 2014 have been extended beyond 2015. Based on the current level of market activity, Fitch estimates the debt capital markets will be able to refinance or extend these maturities to more normalized levels in the next six to nine months.

Despite this intense focus on the 2013 to 2014 portion of the refinancing cliff, the market will soon begin focusing on a second peak that has started to form. Approximately $655 billion of loan maturities are expected to come due between 2016 and 2017. However, based upon the market's ability to smooth the 2013 and 2014 peak, the current pace of activity, and capacity in the loan and high-yield bond markets, Fitch believes that the market will successfully reduce these maturities to more normalized levels over the next 18 to 24 months.

This installment of the series also provides a breakdown and analysis of the European refinancing cliff and what factors will likely affect its success in refinancing its maturities in the coming years. Higher intra-bank funding costs and regulatory capital charges have forced many European lenders to tighten credit standards, creating long-term deleveraging pressure for many speculative-grade issuers. Since fourth-quarter 2010, about 45% of Fitch-rated debt maturing during 2013-2015 has been pushed-out, corresponding to around EUR70 billion. Despite these efforts, the total debt falling due in the period 2013-2015 remains high relative to the amount of new finance recently provided by the primary markets.

The full report 'Bridging the Refinancing Cliff' is available at www.fitchratings.com/sectors/CorporateFinance/Leveraged Finance.

Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

-- European Leveraged Loan Refinancing Wall: Dissecting the Wall (December 2012);
-- Covenant-Lite Loans: Asset-Based Lending and its Impact on Covenant-Lite (November 2012);
-- Fitch U.S. High Yield Default Insight - October 2012 (November 2012);
-- Leveraged Finance Market Quarterly: Third Quarter 2012 (October 2012);
-- Fitch 50: Liquidity and Covenant Update (October 2012);
-- Fitch 50 - Structural Profiles of 50 Leveraged Credits (July 2012).

For more information, visit: www.fitchratings.com/usleveragedfinance.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Bridging the Refinancing Cliff
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=695602

European Leveraged Loan Refinancing Wall
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=696415
Covenant-Lite Loans: Asset- Based Lending and Its Impact on Covenant-Lite Loans
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=695798
Fitch U.S. High Yield Default Insight -- October 2012
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=695559
Leveraged Finance Market Quarterly: Third-Quarter 2012
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=691513
Fitch 50: Liquidity and Covenant Update
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=691051
Fitch 50 -- Structural Profiles of 50 Leveraged Credits - Amended
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=685134

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Darin Schmalz, +1-312-606-2324
Director
Fitch, Inc.
70 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Michael Simonton, CFA, +1-312-368-3138
Managing Director
or
Media Relations:
Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549
brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Darin Schmalz, +1-312-606-2324
Director
Fitch, Inc.
70 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Michael Simonton, CFA, +1-312-368-3138
Managing Director
or
Media Relations:
Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549
brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com