Will 2004 be a vintage year?

HSBC''s head of debt finance group, Steve Williams mulls the year ahead in the bond and loan markets.

Looking back on 2003, what were the key trends in the debt markets

Williams 2003 was a strong year for the debt markets in Asia with the low interest rate environment driving G3 bond issuance to very high levels. Although we didn't see a great deal of capital expenditure-driven financing, partly because of the problems in the first half of the year created by geopolitical uncertainties and SARS, there was a significant amount of refinancing and terming out of debt.

In the second half of the year there was a belief that interest rates would not stay at such low levels so we saw a lot of pre-financing of debts...

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