Winter blues hit bond markets as investors get cold feet

Investors wary of LBO risk and shareholder-friendly activity have become more discriminating about new issuance


January is traditionally the busiest season for corporate bond issuance, prompting new year expectations of a buying frenzy and the potential for a glut in supply. But this year was different. New-issue volumes in both the US and Europe were underwhelming versus expectations and investors paid closer attention to getting the right pricing and the right covenants in their bond indentures over and above simply buying the market.

In the US, despite some record-breaking days of issuance in the first

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