Companies tapped the credit markets for more than$48 billion in new bond issues last week in one of the busiest weeks for corporate debt on record.
Phillips 66 led the charge with $5.8 billion in four issues, ranging from three- to 30-year maturity. The money will be used for a cash payment to parent ConocoPhillips
In addition to those U.S. companies, financial firms based outside the States kicked in nearly a quarter of the borrowing binge. The big borrowers beyond our borders were Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Toronto-Dominion, Royal Bank of Canada, Singapore's OCBC, and Japanese companies Mitsui Sumitomo and ORIX.
Corporate borrowers continue to bring plenty of bonds to market, and foreign borrowers have been taking up sizeable chunks of the low-rate dollars on the table. I think bond buyers are taking on quite a bit of interest-rate risk at current levels, and investors should think carefully before lending money at near record-low rates.