In an effort to shift loans off balance sheets, European banks are looking to transfer lending to investment funds into publicly rated securities, reports the Financial Times.
The process of using direct lending funds to add leverage to portfolios of business loans can potentially transform interest paid of 6-8% into an investment return of 12-14%.
But some worry that the public ratings limits options for portfolio managers.
“If I was a manager of a direct lending fund that used leverage, I would prefer not to have public ratings on my debt,” Max Mitchell, head of direct lending at ICG was quoted by FT as saying. “It’s added complexity and reduces your flexibility as the portfolio manager.”