"Although bank lending still plays a central role in German corporates' debt-financing exercises, these companies are undergoing an intensified structural shift towards bond issuance," the international debt rating agency said in a report.
"The increase in bond issuance among German corporates is partly the result of restricted bank lending and their significant refinancing requirements," said the report's co-author Matthias Hellstern.
"However, it is also driven by increased capacity in the bond markets, given the lack of alternatives in an environment of low interest rates, weak equity markets and a low prevailing default rate."
Total corporate bond issues may not be as high as the €73 billion ($97
billion) seen in 2009, the year of the recession and the financial crisis but it stabilised at a high level of €39 billion in 2010 and 2011, the report found.
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Looking ahead, "we expect that German corporates' requirements for bond issuance will remain at levels similar to those recorded over the past two years, given upcoming maturities and continued tightening of bank-lending conditions in certain market segments," said the report's other co-author and analyst Wen Li.