Friday, April 25, 2008

Money Talks Louder Than Happy Talk

Good indications here. From Bloomberg.

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. led $43.3 billion of U.S. corporate bond sales, the busiest week on record, as financial companies sold debt at the highest yields since May 2001.

Sales compare with $31.2 billion last week and an average this year of $18 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, sold $6 billion of hybrid bonds in the company's largest public debt offering, while New York-based securities firm Merrill Lynch raised $9.55 billion by issuing debt and preferred securities.

Bond offerings soared as investors grew more optimistic financial companies can recover from $309 billion of writedowns and credit losses tied to the collapse of subprime-mortgage securities. Banks and securities firms sold 88 percent of investment-grade debt this week, Bloomberg data show. High-yield bond sales swelled to the most since November.

``Investors are feeling better about banks being proactive about raising capital,'' said Mike Difley, who helps oversee $21 billion in fixed-income assets as a portfolio manager at American Century Investment Management in Kansas City. ``They're trying to get their house in order.''

The extra yield investors demand to own investment-grade debt fell 9 basis points this week to 268 basis points, the lowest since March 5, according to Merrill Lynch index data. Yet yields rose to 6.13 percent, the highest since August. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point...

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