Several Nordic fund managers have been shuttering fixed income funds, mainly in the corporate bond space, to allow them to get prices from banks for their holdings, as illiquidity bites. On Friday, 20th March buy-side bond traders reported on-screen prices for bonds could be off by 10% to where bonds were actually trading.
Erik Amcoff, head of communications at Carnegie Fonder, says, “The banks, as we see it, did have some work to do when it comes to updating prices on the screens. As far as I know, our dialogues with the banks have been constructive.”
Danske Investment Management, which shuttered – and then reopened – a number of funds last week, noted in a letter to clients of one fund, “Due to high volatility and liquidity constraints on the financial markets, the prices of investments owned by the Fund may not be promptly and accurately ascertained, which might further result in inaccurate valuation of the Fund’s assets. Therefore, it is considered to be in the best interest of the Fund and their shareholders to suspend the net asset value calculation as well as the subscription, switch and redemption in the Fund.”
Liquidity has been a massive issue for fixed income funds as a result of reduced market making activity. This has stemmed from banks committing less capital to warehousing bonds bought from clients, or holding bonds in order to sell them to clients, as regulation makes it expensive for them to do so.