European leveraged finance issuance dropped in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit markets, leading to a 15.3% fall in accumulated proceeds, a report by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe said.
Total accumulated proceeds across European leveraged loans and high-yield bonds was €68 billion ($76.5 billion) for the three months ended March 31, down from €80.3 billion in the fourth quarter 2019. The European High Yield and Leveraged Loan report was published Friday.
The decrease was largely driven by a 16.3% fall in leveraged loans issuance, which totaled €38.8 billion across 73 deals for the first quarter compared with €46.4 billion on 67 deals for the previous quarter. Issuance was up year-on-year, by 32.3% from €29.3 billion across 60 deals for the first quarter, 2019.
The fall in issuance came in March, following active months of issues in January and February.