Bank loans: Resiliency amid volatility
In the face of ongoing geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, including the prospect of steadily rising interest rates, our floating-rate bank loan team maintains a bullish outlook for the sector. Emboldened by a strong US economy and mounting inflationary pressures, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) enacted its first 25 basis-point (bp) increase in interest rates since 2018. Additionally, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s recent rhetoric has become more hawkish, including suggesting the possibility of a 50 bp rate hike in the coming months. The market is now pricing in the fed funds rate to rise to around 2.5% by the end of 2022 (from its current target of 25-50 bps).