Bond investors are seeing their “change-in-control” protections weaken, particularly in North America, Moody’s Investors Service says.
In a new report, the rating agency said that it is seeing a “steady erosion” of change-of-control rights, most notably in bonds issued in North America and Europe.
These provisions give bondholders the option of selling their bond at a premium in the event of an acquisition.
Moody’s said that the absence of these rights makes an issuer more attractive to potential acquirers, but puts creditors at risk.
The rating agency said that the erosion of these rights is “exposing bondholders across the globe to greater risk of value extraction if an issuer is bought out.”
“Asian bonds have the strongest and most consistent change-of-control put rights and offer the best protection to bondholders,” Lisa Gundy, vice president and senior covenant officer at Moody’s, said in a statement.
“This stands in sharp contrast to North American and European bond markets, which have seen a steady erosion of change-of-control protection,” she added.