EUROPEAN bond activity is showing signs of recovery, with corporate debt issues so far in 2012 worth $75bn (£47bn), an increase of 83 per cent on the same period last year, according to data from Thomson Reuters.
The data suggests that companies that struggle to borrow from banks are instead turning to capital markets for fundraising. They can benefit from good liquidity and a quicker closing process.
January 2012 saw European firms raise $48bn, the strongest month since March 2011 issuance in the first three weeks of this month is already up 68 per cent on February 2011.
The biggest single borrower was brewer SABMiller, which raised $6.9bn, followed by over $3bn each for oil giant BP and car manufacturer BMW.
And yesterday, mining group BHP Billiton launched a $5.25bn bond sale.
German, UK and French borrowers accounted for 69 per cent of all European corporate bond issuance.