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The Suspension Bridge Loan: Examining European Credit Contributions

Companies and Markets

By Edward McCormick  |  April 4, 2022

Given the recent turmoil in Europe, we wanted to examine how the level of investment in the region has changed in the past decade. Using the Cobalt Market Data and Analytics Engine, we analyzed the rate of contributions to credit funds in the wake of the European debt crisis to see how investor sentiment reacts to instability in European markets.

contributions-to-europe-west-and-cee-cis-credit-funds

Key Takeaways:

  • There are two notable peaks of contribution in the chart above: 2014 and 2018. The first investment surge occurred in the latter half of 2014, as general partners (GPs) drew down about half of their unfunded commitments in these two quarters alone. The reasons for this are myriad but do largely draw from prior crises. The year saw renewed concern towards the Greek debt crisis as well as Euro devaluation against the dollar amidst an announced Fed tapering plan. 2014 also featured the climax of Ukraine’s Euromaidan unrest and conflicts with Russia. As a result, investors likely found the continent’s instability a ripe opportunity for further investment into a temporarily distressed market.
  • The second notable shift in 2018 was even more dramatic, with GPs again piling significant contributions into credit in the latter half of the year. December of 2018 was a famously bad month in the public equity space around the globe. Europe was no stranger to these drawdowns: experiencing sideways movement throughout the year until fears of U.S. monetary contraction and economic disputes with China would drive global markets south. Strong dollar policies may have led some investors to look outside the USD for returns, and the opportunity of a weak Euro offered promising growth prospects in the short to medium term.

Looking Ahead:

  • Looking at the two recent spikes in credit investment, we can see that these are unsurprisingly fueled by economic drawdowns and uncertainty. As all eyes turn to the rise of European self-determinism amidst the present conflict, there may be significant economic changes, and therefore opportunities in the credit investment space.
  • As we look further ahead, it’s important to note that significant events can often ripple forwards, and any debt fallouts from the present instability may be revisited several times in the future as we saw in the example of 2014’s debt crisis. These risks and opportunities may raise their heads once again in the not-too-distant future.

This blog post is for informational purposes only. The information contained in this blog post is not legal, tax, or investment advice. FactSet does not endorse or recommend any investments and assumes no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction taken based on the information contained in this article.

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Edward McCormick

Associate Content Specialist, Cobalt, a FactSet Company

Mr. Edward McCormick is an Associate Content Specialist at Cobalt, a FactSet Company. In this role, he oversees Cobalt Market Data, working to continually improve the timeliness, accuracy, and scope of the data set to better create fund and market level data visualizations. Mr. McCormick earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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The information contained in this article is not investment advice. FactSet does not endorse or recommend any investments and assumes no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction taken based on the information contained in this article.