2022? We wish you a 2021 all over again

2022? We wish you a 2021 all over again

Published: Jan. 17, 2022

European Leveraged Loan Index (ELLI) has registered a positive performance of +0.38% in December (excluding currency effect), while the whole year return reached +4.81%.

Loan investors benefitted from solid income in 2021 with very little volatility, as the S&P European Leveraged Loan Index (ELLI) returned 4.81% (excluding currency) for the year, with every month of 2021 showing a positive return. In fact, the year ended on a long positive streak, as December was the 21st consecutive month to post a positive performance.

After the initial drawdown caused by lockdowns in March 2020, European leveraged loans have broadly been shielded from volatility that hit bonds, and returns on the asset class outperformed both the high-grade and sub-investment-grade fixed income markets.

In total across 2021 the European leveraged loan market recorded a total issuance of 129.7 billion, double the 64.9 billion of 2020 and the highest number since 162.6 billion was reached in 2007. Looking at 2022 the forward calendar stood at 9.34 billion, as the new year promises to bring a host of jumbo transactions to investors’ desks. Although it’s very early days, these new big transactions could contribute to a year with annual volumes similar to last year’s record activity for the period, since the global financial crisis.