In Europe’s Bond Market, Fridays Are for Preparing, Not Selling

Europe’s booming debt sales are being squeezed into a four-day week.

(Bloomberg) — Europe’s booming debt sales are being squeezed into a four-day week.

For the 11th consecutive week, there were no bond offerings on Friday in Europe, the longest run on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 2014. Fridays have made up more than half of the 31 days this year in which there have been no sales.

A big part of the reason: The market has been so busy that bankers who arrange bond sales are using the end of the week to prepare for the next one. Europe this week saw its highest issuance since June as borrowers rushed to market before central banks raise interest rates further. 

“All the supply has been done earlier in the week, the last few weeks, and Fridays are not needed,” said Marco Baldini, global head of investment-grade syndicate at Barclays Plc. “People would prefer to leave deals over for Monday to avoid fatigue given the size of supply. Recent Fridays are for getting deals ready for Monday.”

Companies, financial institutions and public sector borrowers raised more than €46 billion in Europe this week, and the US on Tuesday had its single busiest day of sales this year. 

Over the slower summer weeks a Friday — or several days of the week — without bond sales isn’t surprising. But in the busiest months of the year, like September, every day is typically used for issuance.

The pace of bond sales is expected to cool a bit next week ahead of the next round of central bank meetings that start Thursday with the European Central Bank. Half the market participants surveyed by Bloomberg News expect issuance of €25 billion to €30 billion. 

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