(Higher interest rates in the U.S. have lured foreign buyers to the corporate-bond market, boosting demand, according to Cliff Noreen, who helps oversee more than $160 billion at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.
“There’s insatiable demand,” Noreen, who is deputy chief investment officer at the insurer, said Thursday in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. “Our yields are higher than they are in Europe, higher than they are in Japan, so our bond market looks pretty attractive.”
Buyers snapping up investment-grade corporate bonds in the U.S. have pushed the extra yield investors demand over Treasuries to the lowest levels since 2014, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data. A lack of defaults and strong corporate profits helped boost the attractiveness of those assets, Noreen said.
Lower rates have made it an “issuer’s market,” Noreen said. Investment-grade companies have sold more than $867 billion of bonds in 2017, on pace for the busiest year on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. AT&T Inc. is planning to sell $22.5 billion of debt in a multi-tranche offering, the biggest debt-market deal of the year, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the deal is private.