Loan Trading Strategies on the Secondary Market

Global MarketsHow does loan trading actually work? Loans that are purchased and sold in the secondary market are classified based on their price. There are 2 main ways that loans are traded, either by par or distressed trading. Par trading occurs when the sale or purchase of a loan is above or at 90 cents on one dollar. Loans that are trading with a value of “par” are categorized as “performing loans,” as the borrower is making timely interest and principal payments.

All loan trade prices are reported as a percentage of par value. To calculate the real purchase price for a term loan to see if it is valued properly, is the purchase rate multiplied by the funded amount of the loan on the actual settlement date. When buying this loan, the purchaser is entitled to all the interest and accruing fees that are distributed after the settlement date. That said, the seller is entitled to receive all accrued but unpaid interest and fees up until the settlement date.

Distressed trading is when the sale or purchase of a loan occurs below the 90 cent threshold on the dollar. Loan prices for distressed securities are formulated the same exact method as they are for par trades.

There are three primary institutions that dabble in online trading trading, which includes banks, finance companies and institutional investors. In Europe it is a bit more toned down, as only banks and institutional investors are active. In the Eurozone, the banking sector is more comprised of commercial banks, while in the U.S. it is much more diverse and can include a commercial bank, a savings and loan institution, or perhaps a securities firm. Loan market trading is growing in both the investment-grade and high-yield markets, as companies feel more comfortable borrowing in this market. Continue reading