Bonos de alto rendimiento: los mínimos quedaron atrás, a por los máximos
Los mercados han experimentado un rebote considerable desde marzo, pero persiste el miedo a que hayan asumido demasiado rápidamente una vuelta a la normalidad. Desde luego, son varios los motivos de preocupación nada desdeñables que todavía acechan al sentimiento —el principal, un posible rebrote del COVID-19. Mientras la enfermedad siga combatiéndose a nivel local, probablemente se seguirá percibiendo que continúa bajo control.
Los datos económicos también deberían seguir siendo fuente de buenas noticias. Parece improbable que vuelva a imponerse un confinamiento total, lo que significa que los indicadores podrían seguir muy por encima de los ínfimos niveles hasta los que se hundieron en abril. El enorme estímulo monetario y fiscal que se ha proporcionado debería lograr que la recuperación continúe. En 2009 y 2010, a pesar de las pésimas condiciones del sector bancario, la economía respondió con fuerza a estas formas de estímulo. La continuación del rebote económico debería ser suficiente para estabilizar a los activos de riesgo.
Figura 1: Considerable pickup del alto rendimiento
Fuente: State Street Global Advisors; Bloomberg Finance L.P., a 24 de junio de 2020.
¿Por qué invertir en bonos de alto rendimiento?
En la coyuntura actual, los inversores en renta fija se plantean la pregunta de dónde pueden lograr rentabilidad. Mantener las elevadas asignaciones a efectivo o a deuda pública implica aceptar una rentabilidad reducida. Nuestra estrategia de preferencia por títulos de deuda corporativa con grado de inversión (IG) ha logrado buenos resultados: el índice Bloomberg Barclays Euro Aggregate Corporate Total Return se anotó una rentabilidad del 1,8% (hasta el 24 de junio de 2020) desde que escribimos el artículo "Credit Where Credit is Due" en nuestro Espresso del 4 de mayo de 2020.
Sin embargo, los diferenciales de la deuda corporativa IG con la deuda pública se han reducido y, aunque todavía son aproximadamente 40 pb mayores que antes de la crisis, ahora parecen una prima razonable dado el deterioro del entorno corporativo. Este diferencial continúa representando un pickup de aproximadamente 150 pb frente a los bonos de deuda pública, así que cosechar carry continúa siendo una estrategia, pero la rentabilidad total será limitada dados los reducidos yields directos. Puesto que el contexto económico es más estable, hay razones para considerar asignaciones a títulos de alto rendimiento:
Los diferenciales ajustados por opciones (OAS) del alto rendimiento (HY) siguen unos 200 pb por encima de los niveles precrisis en el índice Bloomberg Barclays Liquidity Screened Euro HY y viajan cerca de los máximos que alcanzaron en 2018, cuando en el mercado existía preocupación por los efectos sobre la deuda corporativa de las subidas de los tipos de interés de la Fed. Por lo tanto, los niveles de entrada siguen siendo favorables para quienes buscan un área del mercado con cierto potencial de rentabilidad.
El rendimiento potencial más bajo (YTW, Yield-to-Worst) del índice Bloomberg Barclays Liquidity Screened Euro HY se aproxima al 4,5%, por encima del YTW de la deuda de mercados emergentes y solo por debajo del HY estadounidense. Esto significa que el carry es notablemente positivo y, con una duración ajustada por opciones del índice de 3,7 años, los yields tendrían que subir más de 100 pb para borrar las ganancias generadas por el cupón.
Los resultados empresariales no serán buenos el próximo trimestre cuando se aprecie el verdadero coste del confinamiento. Sin embargo, los bancos centrales y los gobiernos han establecido condiciones crediticias muy favorables para las empresas. Esto se ha traducido en niveles récord de emisiones, que deberían haber mejorado la capacidad de supervivencia de esas compañías. Esto debería ayudar a frenar las insolvencias durante los próximos seis meses.
El volumen de emisión ha sido elevado, con más de 8.000 millones de euros en emisiones solo la pasada semana, según Bloomberg. Nada parece indicar que el mercado se esté saturando con esta oferta, en parte porque el BCE continúa comprando títulos IG, lo que debería ayudar a hacer llegar los fondos al mercado HY. La actividad de emisiones suele reducirse en verano, antes de volver a repuntar en septiembre. Por lo tanto, las presiones de oferta deberían relajarse. Sin embargo, el elevado nivel de emisiones en el mercado primario no es completamente negativo: también crea oportunidades, ya que facilita la adquisición de títulos con descuento con respecto a su valor razonable.
El gran número de rebajas de la calificación de emisores empresariales se percibe como un riesgo para la rentabilidad del segmento HY, ya que estos «ángeles caídos» (empresas que pierden la calificación de IG) entran en el mundo, más reducido, del índice HY. Sin embargo, el posicionamiento táctico de los gestores de fondos puede llegar a convertir esto en una ventaja del fondo —consulte un breve análisis sobre este tema en An Update on High Yield Bonds. An Update on High Yield Bonds.
En resumen, probablemente el mercado continuará temiendo un rebrote del COVID-19, pero es probable que ya hayamos dejado atrás el punto más bajo, al menos en el caso de la economía. Buena parte de estas noticias positivas ya han sido descontadas por los mercados, lo que significa que los diferenciales de crédito pueden seguir estrechándose, pero probablemente lo harán de forma gradual.
Siempre que el mercado se mantenga bastante estable, no debería pasarse por alto el elevado nivel de la rentabilidad por cupón que ofrece el HY y la importante contribución que puede hacer a la rentabilidad de una cartera.
Cómo apostar por este tema
Los inversores pueden apostar por el tema de los bonos de alto rendimiento que describimos en este artículo con un ETF de SPDR. Si desea más información sobre el fondo, así como consultar su historial completo de rentabilidad, siga el enlace siguiente:
Flujos de segmentos de ETP domiciliados en Europa (primeros/últimos, mill. USD)
Categorías de activos de ETP domiciliados en Europa (mill. USD)
Fuentes: Bloomberg Finance L.P., para el periodo 19-26 de junio de 2020. Los datos sobre flujos son válidos exclusivamente en la fecha indicada.
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