High Yield – Basic Materials: Third
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High Yield – Basic Materials: Third

Davide Chiesa, Patrick Kersting & team

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Newcomers Davide Chiesa and Patrick Kersting guide the seven-strong Bank of America Merrill Lynch squad to a third-place debut. Chiesa also co-leads (with Julien Martin) a runner-up team in High-Yield Retailing/Consumer Products; Kersting pilots the No. 2 crew in Investment-Grade Basic Materials and co-heads (with Teofilo Lasarte) the No. 3 team in High-Yield Manufacturing/General Industrials. The London-based group covers some 32 issuers and counting. Current favorites include the 7.625 percent 2016 senior secured notes of Germany’s Styrolution Group, recommended in September as undervalued at €90. The company was suffering from poor earnings visibility in a volatile market, the analysts maintained, but its balance sheet was strong. By mid-January the notes had surged to €106.50. The BofA Merrill team is “a rising star,” insists one investor. — Ben Mattlin

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