Debt issuance up 69 per cent at start of 2012

GLOBAL debt capital markets (DCM) activity totalled $1.7 trillion (£1.06 trillion) in the first three months of 2012, a 69 per cent increase on the fourth quarter of 2011, according to figures from data supplier Thomson Reuters.

Their report shows that early 2012 was the most successful quarter for debt issuance in three years.

Financials accounted for half of all DCM activity in the first quarter, a total of $833.6bn, with materials and energy DCM activity showing the strongest year-on-year growth, both registering rises of more than 40 per cent.

Overall issuance levels were more muted in the telecommunications sector but deals in the sector had an average size of over $700m.

The volume of global corporate high yield debt reached $106.7bn during the first quarter of 2012, a triple-digit percentage increase from the fourth quarter of 2011.

Issuers in the United States accounted for 71 per cent of overall volume, an all-time record for US-based companies in the high yield market.

The average yield for global high yield new issues fell to 7.98 per cent, the lowest percentage since records began in 1980, powering three-month issuance levels to only the fourth $100bn-plus quarter on record.

It was the largest quarter for emerging markets corporate debt on record, with new issuance from growth nations hitting $113bn during the first quarter of 2012, led by deals in Brazil, Russia, India and Mexico.

JP Morgan dominated the bookrunning league table, dealing with $142bn of issuance, equivalent to a 7.9 per cent share of the market and earning themselves an enormous $802.5m of manager fees in the process.

Deutsche Bank retained the number two spot during the quarter, with 7.1 per cent market share, while Barclays fell to third place.

It was good news for banks overall, with a seven per cent increase in debt underwriting fees.