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Leveraged-Loan Funds See Record $5 Billion of Inflows, BofA Says

Investors deposited a record $5 billion into U.S. funds that purchase floating-rate debt last month, according to Bank of America Corp.

Loan funds saw inflows of $1.3 billion this week, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said in a report yesterday. Investors added $4.4 billion to the funds in January.

Loan funds have witnessed their five biggest weeks of money pouring in as investors pulled money out of high-yield funds in the same period. Investors withdrew money in each of the last five weeks from junk bond funds, including $211 million this week, according to the report.

Borrowers obtained more than $88 billion in loans last month from non-bank lenders exceeding the peak of $55 billion in April 2007. It was three times higher than the $26.7 billion in January, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The average yield on loans has dropped 15 basis points in February to 5.92 percent, the lowest level in records going back to 2007, JPMorgan data show. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

Leveraged loans are a form of high-risk debt that carry ratings of less than Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service and below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s.

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