Slow hurricane seasons in recent years drove both the demand for the bonds from investors attracted to their aforementioned yields and low durations. Institutional investors ate up a larger piece of the pie in 2017, holding 25% of outstanding issues, up from 20% in 2016. Also notable, hedge funds’ became a lesser player in the market, falling to 2% of total ownership from 6%.
Stormy seas ahead for cat bond holders
How performance will shake out for the holders in the second half of 2017 is yet to be known after claims related to hurricanes Harvey and Irma are tallied. The bonds pay a coupon and an eventual repayment of principal as long as a trigger event, such as a hurricane, doesn’t occur. Should an event occur, all or some of the debt owed to the investor is forgiven.