Pound tourists’ shop for UK corporate bonds

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The weakness in the pound has spurred greater demand from foreign investors for UK debt securities, with “sterling tourists” hailing mainly from Europe, helping British companies sell bonds. The trend is a sign of how the dramatic depreciation in the pound since the UK voted to leave the EU has rippled across the country’s financial markets, with sales of sterling-denominated debt running at a much faster pace than last year. UK companies have dramatically increased their borrowing in sterling compared with 2016, when concerns over the EU referendum stymied issuance. Companies rated investment grade have sold £17.3bn of bonds so far in 2017, compared with £6.2bn over the same period last year, according to Lloyds data.

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