The issuance of debt securities by Belgian non-financial corporations

Over the last decade, the debt of Belgian non-financial corporations has followed an upward trend, supported in part by an increase in debt securities issued by a small portion of firms. This development, which has also been observed in other euro area countries, can be explained by, among other things, the low interest rate environment and the corporate sector securities purchase programme implemented in the Eurosystem.

This article provides a more detailed view of the drivers behind the use of this type of financing instruments, as well as of the risks this may entail. To this end, it uses granular data derived from the NBB's securities settlement system.

What companies issue debt securities? Are any of them at risk of running into difficulties in case of a loss of income or a sudden rise in interest rates in the bond market? If so, can they guard against this risk? These are some of the questions this article seeks to answer.