News Loans/People: Driving loan growth

Jan 1, 2014

Borrowers flocked to the syndicated loan market in the fourth quarter — a trend that banks expect will continue this year as debt markets become less predictable. By Karen Schwartz

Companies will take out bank loans in growing numbers this year, advancing a trend that started in mid-2013 when bond markets turned rough, bankers say. Yields on 10-year US Treasuries nudged 2.9% in December - more than a point higher than at the beginning of 2013 - after the US Federal Reserve began winding down its bond buying program.

Borrowers will balance funding costs between bonds and loans, but a rise in mergers and acquisitions, which contributed to a pick-up in deals in the second half of 2013, could further drive the loan market this year.

A number of loans were launched in December. Mexico's Sigma Alimentos met banks to discuss acquisition funding (see page 10), while Brazil's InterCement unveiled a $900 million refinancing package. It held bank meetings in New York and São Paulo...

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