HONG KONG, Feb 19 (IFR) - Investment grade credits were better bid in what traders were calling the first real day of trading. "The market is quite firm," said one trader in Singapore. Analysts were seeing two-way flow in the space, but buyers were outweighing sellers on most bonds.
The activity was mostly on the cash side, as the Asia iTraxx IG index ended unchanged to 1bp tighter quited at a mid-market level of 110bp. Bonds, though, were doing much better with Philippines 2037s ending the day some 25ct stronger.
Traders reported piecemeal interest in Hong Kong property developers too, especially in the peripheral names. Nan Fung 2017s, for instance, ended almost 10bp tighter in the day at 205bp over, while Lifestyle's bonds closed at 215bp, almost 10bp tighter as well.
Thai and Malaysian credits were in high demand as well, in spite of the looming supply by Krung Thai Bank, which roadshowed before the Lunar New Year but did not get to price the transaction.
However, with rumours that the lender will wait until its full year earnings are out before issuing, investors started buying again and most bonds in the Thai bank sector were 3bp-5bp tighter.
Malaysian banks were about 5bp tighter across the board, with bellwether Maybank 2022s closing at 217bp.