Consequent to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic which infected over 100 million people and led to 2.2 million deaths worldwide, 2020 was a year of extraordinary challenges. Despite a concerted effort by governments and central banks to mitigate the impact on the economy, through substantial monetary and fiscal stimulus packages, the global economy (as estimated by the International Monetary Fund) contracted by 3.50%.
Corporate credit, hindered at the peak of the pandemic by growing concerns about their ability to service debt, recovered. Credit spreads previously witnessing substantial widening (reaching significant highs of over 1000bps), tightened, with both investment grade and high yield issuers delivering strong, positive total returns. U.S. investment-grade and EM high yield
outperformed their European counterparts.
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