(Bloomberg) -- Private equity firms are waiting to put about $1.5 trillion of unspent money to use. And their bankers are getting impatient.

With buyouts down 28% globally this year, according to Bloomberg data, there’s growing optimism among some dealmakers that private equity titans will soon start splashing some cash again. Mark Fedorcik, who leads investment banking at Deutsche Bank AG, said he sees multi-billion dollar leveraged buyouts returning in the second half as credit markets reopen.

“There’s a very limited pipeline of committed transactions as you get to the fall, so the market will be potentially looking for deals,” Fedorcik said in a phone interview this week. “That will lend itself to banks and other investors to want to do deals.”

Banks are hoping that private equity will help prop up an otherwise meager year for transactions, with many large corporations either constrained or cautious. As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on global economies, large buyout funds are biding their time and picking their spots -- such as health care and technology -- for a post-pandemic world.

And while credit markets have come roaring back with central bank support globally, leveraged loans in particular have been more sluggish.

Philip Drury, who leads Citigroup’s banking, capital markets and advisory business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said investors will be cautious in factoring in risk and choosing sectors.

“We’ll see a pick up in activity, no doubt, in the second half,” Drury said Friday on a Bloomberg Television interview. “Whether it’s the third quarter, let’s see.”

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