Oxford to raise US$1bil, due 100 years from now

Oldest university: A file picture showing a group of graduates throwing their caps in the air for a photograph after a graduation ceremony at the university. Pound investors are seeking out names likely to ride out Brexit risks. — Reuters

London: University of Oxford, which traces its roots back to the 11th century, plans to sell sterling notes maturing in 2117, as pound investors seek out names likely to ride out Brexit risks.

The oldest university in the English-speaking world held a call on Tuesday ahead of a potential tap of a £750mil (US$970mil) 2.544% bond first issued in late 2017, according to a source. Moody’s Investors Service rates the note Aaa, its highest grade.

The yield on the Oxford bond has dropped below 2%, partly because the university’s global reputation and a weaker pound may help it attract international students amid potential Brexit upheavals.

Marketwide high-grade sterling bonds yields have also fallen to the lowest since early October, aided by rising expectations for a possible Bank of England interest-rate cut.

Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state has already syndicated a new 2120 euro bond this year, amid a heightened early-January rush of deals in Europe’s primary bond market. — Bloomberg

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