Senior Loan Talking Points

Senior Loan Talking Points

Time to read: Minutes
Jeffrey Bakalar

Jeffrey Bakalar

Group Head and Chief Investment Officer, Leveraged Credit Group

Mohamed Basma

Mohamed Basma, CFA

Managing Director, Head of Leveraged Credit

Weekly Notables

  • The US loan market’s performance moved noticeably higher this week, as the Morningstar® LSTA ® US Leveraged Loan Index (Index) returned 0.37% for the seven-day period ended January 26. The average Index bid price increased by 18bp, closing out the period at 94.13.
  • On the supply front, primary market activity accelerated this week, as arrangers launched both opportunistic deals as well as buyout and acquisition related activities. Total launch volume was $5.9 billion, as compared to $2 billion last week. Looking at forward calendar, net of the anticipated $9.6 billion of repayments not associated with the forward pipeline, the amount of new supply expected to enter the market is about $2.5 billion, versus repayments outstripping new supply by about $592 million in the prior week.
  • Secondary loan market performance moderated this week following the strong rally since beginning of the year. Despite the modest increase this week, Double-Bs, Single-Bs and CCCs posted a positive return of 0.22%, 0.46% and 0.23%, respectively.
  • On the demand side, CLO managers priced six new deals this week, pushing the YTD tally to $4.34 billion.
  • There was one default (Heritage Power) in the Index during the week. The trailing 12-month default rate by principal amount moved up to 0.83% (from 0.72% last week).
Average Bid
January 1, 2019 to January 26, 2023
Average Bid
Average 3-YR Call Secondary Spreads1,2
January 1, 2019 to January 20, 2023
Average 3-YR Call Secondary Spreads 1,2
Lagging 12 Month Default Rate3
January 1, 2019 to January 26, 2023
Lagging 12 Month Default Rate 3
Index Stats
Index Stats

Source:  Pitchbook Data, Inc./LCD, Morningstar ® LSTA ® Leveraged Loan Index. Additional footnotes and disclosures on back page. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.   Investors cannot invest directly in the Index. *The Index’s average nominal spread calculation includes the benefit of base rate floors (where applicable).



Unless otherwise noted, the source for all data in this report is Pitchbook Data, Inc/LCD.  Pitchbook Data/LCD does not make any representations or warranties as to the completeness, accuracy or sufficiency of the data in this report.

1. Assumes 3 Year Maturity. Three-year maturity assumption: (i) all loans pay off at par in 3 years, (ii) discount from par is amortized evenly over the 3 years as additional spread, and (iii) no other principal payments during the 3 years. Discounted spread is calculated based upon the current bid price, not on par. Please note that Index yield data is only available on a lagging basis, thus the data demonstrated is as of January 20, 2023.

2. Excludes facilities that are currently in default.

3. Issuer default rate is calculated as the number of defaults over the last twelve months divided by the number of issuers in the Index at the beginning of the twelve-month period. Principal default rate is calculated as the amount defaulted over the last twelve months divided by the amount outstanding at the beginning of the twelve-month period.

General Risks for Floating Rate Senior Loans: Floating rate senior loans involve certain risks.  Below investment grade assets carry a higher than normal risk that borrowers may default in the timely payment of principal and interest on their loans, which would likely cause the value of the investment to decrease.  Changes in short-term market interest rates will directly affect the yield on investments in floating rate senior loans.  If such rates fall,  the investment’s yield will also fall.  If interest rate spreads on loans decline in general, the yield on such loans will fall and the value of such loans may decrease.  When short-term market interest rates rise, because of the lag between changes in such short-term rates and the resetting of the floating rates on senior loans, the impact of rising rates will be delayed to the extent of such lag.  Because of the limited secondary market for floating rate senior loans, the ability to sell these loans in a timely fashion and/or at a favorable price may be limited.  An increase or decrease in the demand for loans may adversely affect the loans.

This commentary has been prepared by Voya Investment Management for informational purposes. Nothing contained herein should be construed as (i) an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any security or (ii) a recommendation as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling any security. Any opinions expressed herein reflect our judgment and are subject to change. Certain of the statements contained herein are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements due to, without limitation, (1) general economic conditions, (2) performance of financial markets, (3) changes in laws and regulations and (4) changes in the policies of governments and/or regulatory authorities. The opinions, views and information expressed in this commentary regarding holdings are subject to change without notice. The information provided regarding holdings is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Fund holdings are fluid and are subject to daily change based on market conditions and other factors.  

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