The percentage of corporate bonds considered in distress surged this week to the highest since 2009 as investors dumped debt of the neediest borrowers on concern Europe’s fiscal crisis will make it harder for them to refinance.
More than 17 percent of junk bonds yield at least 10 percentage points over Treasuries, up from 9.2 percent last month, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global High-Yield Index shows. The jump is the biggest since the distress ratio rose 11 percentage points in November 2008, two months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed. Bonds of MGM Mirage and Freescale Semiconductor Inc. joined the list this month.
U.S. distressed bonds have lost 10 percent in May, according to the indexes, as credit markets seize up amid speculation Greece and other nations in Europe with rising budget deficits won’t be able to meet their debt payments. Junk bond sales plunged this month to the lowest level since March 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Read More: – By Bryan Keogh and Kate Haywood, Bloomberg