Loans à la Mode

Following our story last week on skyrocketing costs of natural vanilla flavoring, fans of confectionary innovation alerted us to another development on the sweets front.

A Swiss company is launching “ruby chocolate” to appeal to millennial appetites as well as to open foreign markets less known for chocoholics. While not available to consumers until 2018, the reddish varietal is reported to be a “tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness.” It also apparently has no added berries or fruit.

We’ll leave it to future readers to pass judgement on this new treat. In the meantime we’re relegated to passing along bittersweet news from the leveraged loan front.

With less than two weeks to go before the end of the third quarter, loan activity in the broader markets has continued to favor issuers. S&P LCD reports that dividend activity of almost $7 billion represented the second highest month this year, after January.

As we’ve noted previously repricings had slowed in the third quarter after a blistering pace earlier in the year. It seems as if these refinancings are picking up again as six month call-premiums roll off from loans originated in the first quarter. So far September has seen more than half the level of repricings ($14.3 billion) from August’s total of almost $27 billion (per LCD).