Displaying items by tag: private credit

Saturday, 25 May 2024 11:33

Robust Growth Outlook for Private Credit

According to panelists at the SALT conference, private credit will continue to experience strong growth over the next few years. Additionally, they believe that reports of banks stepping in to more aggressively compete with private credit lenders are overblown. Instead, there’s more likely to be partnerships between private credit investors and banks in terms of originating deals and arranging terms.

Michael Arougheti, the co-founder and CEO of Ares Management, sees private credit compounding at an annual rate of 15% for the next decade. He sees growth driven by cyclical and secular factors such as companies staying private for longer, the current high-rate environment, and many ‘good’ borrowers with weak balance sheets. Another factor is the billions being raised for private credit funds across Wall Street. 

Panelists also agreed that there are many selective opportunities in fixed income and credit at the moment. And more opportunities should emerge over the next year, especially with rates staying higher for longer. Arougheti believes that there will be more opportunities created by the lack of liquidity. This underscores another difference between the current environment and past cycles for distressed debt - weakness is not sector-specific, rather, it’s more rate-induced. 


Finsum: At the SALT conference, panelists agreed that despite headlines, private credit markets will see strong growth over the next few years. They also see more attractive opportunities emerging given high rates and limited liquidity. 

Published in Alternatives
Tuesday, 14 May 2024 10:24

Growing Concerns Over Private Credit

At the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, many expressed concerns that, as rates remain elevated, there is increasing liquidity risk for some borrowers. So far, robust economic growth has masked these underlying issues, but many borrowers would be vulnerable in the event of an economic downturn.

So far, default rates have remained low. Skeptics contend that this is due to amendments made to loan terms, leading to maturity extensions and payment arrangements. Ideally, these maneuvers would buy time for borrowers until monetary conditions eased. 

Yet, economic data has not been supportive of this outcome so far in 2024, leading to more stress for borrowers and concerns that defaults could spike. According to Katie Koch, the CEO of the TCW Group, “This cannot be extended forever. Eventually, those default rates will rise.” Danielle Poli adds, “It is going to be ugly. Many of these companies are burdened with excessive leverage, with holes in their covenants like Swiss cheese.”

Some investors sense opportunity as there has been an increase in bridge loans to borrowers, searching for liquidity. Oaktree Capital has reduced exposure to syndicated loans and raised cash levels to take advantage of any dislocations. In addition to bridge loans, there is also increasing demand for hybrid capital, which is in between senior debt and equity and provides liquidity and cash flow relief to borrowers.


Finsum: At the annual Miliken conference, Wall Street heavyweights warned that as rates remain elevated for longer, borrowers are getting more stressed and that a spike in defaults is looming.

Published in Alternatives

Cerulli Associates' recent report predicts substantial growth for structured notes, debt securities linked to underlying assets, in the upcoming year, prompting advisors to take heed of this emerging trend. 

 

Despite their reputation for being illiquid, inaccessible, and costly, structured notes are gaining traction, with only about 22 percent of advisors currently incorporating them into their strategies, but the landscape is changing, with roughly 8 percent of advisors planning to adopt structured notes within the next year matching industry standards with the likes of hedge funds and private debt. 

 

While alternative investments pose challenges for many clients, Cerulli's findings reveal advisors' concerns about the lack of liquidity and product complexity associated with structured notes, alongside hurdles related to expenses and subscription/redemption processes. Nonetheless, asset managers are adapting by targeting retail investors and partnering with advisory firms to introduce structured notes capabilities. Advisors could be missing out on a key alternative to improve the performance of clients portfolios. 


Finsum: Liquidity concerns should come down as the interest rate schedule becomes more certain and advisors should consider assets that are traditionally less liquid such as structured notes.

Published in Wealth Management

With private credit booming, private equity firms are upping their forecasts for their lending businesses. Apollo Global sees loan origination exceeding $200 billion annually in the next couple of years, up from its previous forecast of $150 billion. It’s seeing increased loan demand due to faster economic growth and public and private spending on infrastructure.

What’s new is that many of these private equity giants are now looking at lower-risk lending to investment-grade companies to fuel growth. This would put them in even more direct competition with banks. Apollo’s co-President Jim Zelter sees many investment-grade domestic companies pursuing capital expenditure projects and believes that private credit can compete with fixed income and equity as funding sources.

Already, banks are feeling some impact. In Q1, JPMorgan reported $699 billion in non-consumer loans outstanding, which was a $3 billion decline from last year. CEO Jamie Dimon has warned that the entry of new lenders brings ‘an area of unexpected risk in the markets.’ 

Previously, he noted that these lenders have less transparency and regulations than banks, which ‘often gives them a significant advantage.’ He specifically cited startup banks, fintech companies, and private equity firms as examples of companies that function effectively as banks but are outside of the regulatory system. 


Finsum: Private credit is taking market share away from banks. Now, private equity firms are looking to target investment-grade companies. Many banks are warning that this brings risks to the financial system.

Published in Alternatives
Thursday, 02 May 2024 12:38

Private Debt Slow Down Could be Temporary

In the first quarter of 2024, the momentum of private credit fundraising decelerated, impacted by global economic uncertainties, as per the latest findings from Preqin. Fundraising in this sector amassed $30.6 billion during the period, marking a 14% decrease from the typical first-quarter figures recorded since 2017. 

 

RJ Joshua, VP of research insights at Prequin, notes that there are large concerns around the future of interest rates and inflation, but this slow down might just be for a limited time. The slowdown in fundraising during the initial quarter may prove temporary and regain traction later in the year, according to Joshua.

 

Notably, there has been a noticeable rise in fund concentration, with the top 10 funds garnering a larger share of the total fundraising. Investors are very satisfied with private credit and over 90% feel the asset class is meeting their expectations. 


Finsum: The future path of interest rates is appearing more certain, which could bode well for private debt through the end of the year. 

Published in Wealth Management
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