Confidence in Peripheral Corporate Debt High, BNP’s Howard Says

Mark Howard, managing director of credit research at BNP Paribas SA, said that increased bond sales from companies in Europe’s most troubled economies is due to improved investor confidence.

“There is a lot of confidence right now in policy makers, at the ECB in particular, and confidence that risk assets are going to do well,” Howard said on Bloomberg Television’s “Lunch Money” with Stephanie Ruhle.

Demand for higher-yielding corporate bonds was in countries, “where the broader buyer base can participate,” Howard said. Those countries include Ireland, Portugal and Spain, he said.

Companies in the periphery are selling more bonds than in any time in the past three months due to investor demand for high returns.

Investor demand for peripheral company bonds has pushed yields on the debt down to a record 2.56 percent, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Euro Periphery Non-Financial Index shows. That’s still 100 basis points more than notes issued by companies in Europe’s core nations including Germany and France.

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