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Monitor: US BSL CLO New Issue Arb Trend

The arbitrage metric for new-issue US CLOs has remained largely rangebound. As of February 16, 2024, the latest metric stood at 214 basis points (bps), slightly lower than the median metric for 2023 deals. Another notable observation is the loan index's moving 4-week average discounted spreads, which have stayed remarkably flat over the past five weeks!

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US CLOs: Median MVOC and Equity NAV by Vintage

It is interesting to note that the median US CLO equity NAV metrics by vintage have remained largely unchanged from one month ago, set against the backdrop of a very flat loan market, as illustrated in the graph below. In addition, it is observed that the median equity NAV from the 2018 vintage appears to be relatively low.

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Equity Distributions in EU CLO Deals Post-Reinvestment Period

The table below illustrates the equity distributions for EU CLOs, based on a sample of 145 deals. All these deals have exited their reinvestment period by 31 January 2024. Unlike their US counterparts, the median distribution for EU CLOs has been trending higher. In the EU CLO market, many managers have been more successful at maintaining investments in the first and second years post-reinvestment.

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Equity Distributions in US CLO Deals Post-Reinvestment Period

The latest median equity distribution was 2.8%, representing a decrease of 60 basis points from the previous median quarterly distribution—a significant decline. This suggests that an increasing number of deals may become ripe for a call over the next few quarters. However, the decision to actually call them will depend on several other factors.

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EU CLOs: Fixed Rate Exposures By Vintage (Premium)

In terms of EUR notional exposure, fixed-rate exposure has increased by EUR 1.6 billion, due to the issuance of more CLOs since the beginning of 2023. If 2023 vintage deals were excluded, fixed-rate exposure would have decreased by EUR 0.3 billion. The following table presents the breakdown of the total EUR 19.4 billion exposure by manager.

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Optimal Conditions for Calling a CLO Deal: A Strategic Overview

Of these 207 US CLO deals, about 63 are better positioned for redemption as they have an equity NAV exceeding 10 percentage points, based on asset prices as of February 5, 2024. Most of these deals originate from the 2017 and 2018 vintages, as indicated in the table below. Market conditions are also conducive for a call. However, the final decision rests with the equity holders.

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Top-Performing US CLO Managers: Equity Cumulative Distributions and NAV (Updated)

The table below shows the top-performing managers with the most 2013–2019 deals that are in the 90th percentile category. Notably, CSAM stood out as the most successful and consistent manager in delivering good returns to equity investors. Other successful managers include Oak Hill Advisors, KKR Financial Advisors, Goldentree Asset Management, Neuberger Berman, Generate Advisors, Fortress Investment Group, and Anchorage Capital Group.

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