TEXT-Fitch: strong 2012 debt capital market activity continues to extend out refinancing cliff

Fri Jan 4, 2013 1:02pm EST

Jan 4 - Loan refinancing activity and robust high-yield bond issuance
extended or diminished $370 billion of loans within the refinancing cliff
timeframe during the first three quarters of 2012. Despite the significant
process made in 2012, the market still needs to refinance or extend
approximately $632 billion of loans expected to mature between 2013 and 2014,
according to the new report 'Bridging the Refinancing Cliff, Volume VI,'
published by Fitch Ratings today.

Of the $357 billion of loan issuance through the first three quarters of 2012,
approximately 57% of issuance has been directed towards refinancing. The U.S.
high-yield bond market has also contributed greatly in redistributing loans as
bond-for-loan takeout volume totaled $68 billion through the first three
quarters of 2012.

Issuers have been intensely focused on extending the peak years of the
refinancing cliff. Since the beginning of 2011, approximately $120 billion of
loans coming due in 2013 and 2014 have been extended beyond 2015. Based on the
current level of market activity, Fitch estimates the debt capital markets will
be able to refinance or extend these maturities to more normalized levels in the
next six to nine months.

Despite this intense focus on the 2013 to 2014 portion of the refinancing cliff,
the market will soon begin focusing on a second peak that has started to form.
Approximately $655 billion of loan maturities are expected to come due between
2016 and 2017. However, based upon the market's ability to smooth the 2013 and
2014 peak, the current pace of activity, and capacity in the loan and high-yield
bond markets, Fitch believes that the market will successfully reduce these
maturities to more normalized levels over the next 18 to 24 months.

This installment of the series also provides a breakdown and analysis of the
European refinancing cliff and what factors will likely affect its success in
refinancing its maturities in the coming years. Higher intra-bank funding costs
and regulatory capital charges have forced many European lenders to tighten
credit standards, creating long-term deleveraging pressure for many
speculative-grade issuers. Since fourth-quarter 2010, about 45% of Fitch-rated
debt maturing during 2013-2015 has been pushed-out, corresponding to around
EUR70 billion. Despite these efforts, the total debt falling due in the period
2013-2015 remains high relative to the amount of new finance recently provided
by the primary markets.

The full report 'Bridging the Refinancing Cliff' is available at
www.fitchratings.com/sectors/CorporateFinance/Leveraged Finance.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

-- European Leveraged Loan Refinancing Wall: Dissecting the Wall (December
2012);
-- Covenant-Lite Loans: Asset-Based Lending and its Impact on Covenant-Lite
(November 2012);
-- Fitch U.S. High Yield Default Insight - October 2012 (November 2012);
-- Leveraged Finance Market Quarterly: Third Quarter 2012 (October 2012);
-- Fitch 50: Liquidity and Covenant Update (October 2012);
-- Fitch 50 - Structural Profiles of 50 Leveraged Credits (July 2012).

For more information, visit: www.fitchratings.com/usleveragedfinance.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Bridging the Refinancing Cliff

European Leveraged Loan Refinancing Wall
Covenant-Lite Loans: Asset- Based Lending and Its Impact on Covenant-Lite Loans
Fitch U.S. High Yield Default Insight - October 2012
Leveraged Finance Market Quarterly: Third-Quarter 2012
Fitch 50: Liquidity and Covenant Update
Fitch 50 -- Structural Profiles of 50 Leveraged Credits - Amended
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