Sharp decline in demand on the SSD market in 2023?
Over the course of 2023, the issue volume decreased by 34%, but still reached a considerable EUR 22.2bn, while the number of transactions fell by 34% to 105. In the record year 2022, the SSD issuance volume had reached an impressive EUR 29.8bn. Interestingly, last year’s total exceeded the average value of the previous ten years by 7%.
View of the SSD market in 2023
In 2023, the market for corporate Promissory note loans (SSD) normalized following the record performance in the previous year, and this trend continued in the fourth quarter. Activity in the SSD market remained robust overall despite a challenging environment in 2023, driven by stable investor demand. Large corporates with external investment grade ratings showed significantly lower participation in the SSD market with 12 transactions compared to the 33 transactions in 2022. From the second quarter of 2023, they tended to increasingly utilize the more competitive bond market, resulting in a lower foreign share compared to the previous year. In addition, fewer debut transactions were recorded in 2023, although some significant transactions by new companies on the SSD market underlined the positive response from investors. At the same time, the market leaves enough room for individualized regulations in the individual companies.
In the fourth quarter of 2023, the SSD market recorded a new volume of around EUR 6 billion, based on valuations. This represents a decline of 25% compared to the record quarter of 2022 with EUR 7.5 billion. At the same time, the number of transactions fell to 28 new SSDs, which also represents a year-on-year decline of 14%.
Compared to the fourth quarters of the past ten years (2013 to 2022), the volume in the final quarter of 2023 was around 16 % below average, both in terms of volume and the number of transactions. Historically, Q2 and Q4 2022 clearly stand out with high volumes.
The resilience of Promissory note investors once again demonstrated the stability and attractiveness of this source of financing in the past year. The SSD also remains interesting for smaller companies or SMEs with a weaker credit rating from a financing requirement of EUR 5-10 million. The promissory note loan also benefits from favorable refinancing conditions with the ECB.