Nuveen, a perennial bull on risky municipal debt, is planning a new fund to invest in state and local government bonds in distress, default or in bankruptcy, according to a securities filing.
Nuveen’s Municipal High Yield & Special Situations Fund, a closed-end fund, will also invest in securities with complex structures that would render them unsuitable for certain investors, according to a preliminary prospectus filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Special situations municipal securities, in particular, offer complexity risk premiums (stemming from the work-out expertise required to negotiate security improvements, including rate covenants, reserve funds and other security structure enhancements), which in turn may create significant investment opportunity for the Fund,” Nuveen said in the filing.
Nuveen’s move comes as investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Knighthead Capital Management are wagering there’s a coming wave of defaults in the municipal-bond market as the economic cycle turns and distressed cities and speculative projects have trouble paying back loans.
Nuveen has led a charge of investors into riskier municipal bonds to finance shopping malls, refineries, charter schools, assisted living centers and waste-to-energy facilities.