Bonds are back on the menu for UK companies, driving an increase in gross and net capital issuance for the first time in months. Net issues of commercial paper, a form of short-term largely unsecured lending, also rose substantially within january, ending the month above zero.
A survey of CFOs in January rated credit as hard to obtain, and said that equity and bond issuance was preferable to bank loans. It may be that the increase in capital issuance is being used to pay off bank debt for the larger companies. That option, of course, is not available to smaller firms.