Seoul aims to raise US$1.3bil in dollar bond sale

Broader demand: A pedestrian walking past a shop in the Dongseongro shopping district in Daegu, South Korea. Seoul is offering the notes to investors to provide more stability to the secondary market interest rates. — Bloomberg

SEOUL: South Korea is planning to raise as much as US$1.3bil in a dollar bond sale to set a stable reference rate for local companies, just as their own issuance climbs near a record.

The government is offering the notes to investors such as other governments and central banks that tend to hold securities longer, providing more stability to secondary market interest rates, according to a statement from the finance ministry.

The comments provide fresh details on the planned deal, after a source said last Friday that the nation was considering offering five-year dollar bonds.

The country is arranging investor meetings in London from June 20 and global calls from June 24.

When a nation issues sovereign debt in international markets, that helps show broader investor demand for exposure to the country.

That in turn can help companies venturing overseas for funding to fine-tune the terms they offer, potentially allowing them to borrow at cheaper costs.

There’s a lot at stake in South Korea’s case. Issuers including tech giant LG Electronics Inc have priced about US$19bil of dollar notes so far this year, near a record of almost US$20bil for the same period in 2021.

That’s helped drive a broader resurgence in Asian deals, including from Indonesia and the Philippines earlier in the year. The region has joined a global rush for funds, taking advantage of investor demand to lock in yields before any declines.

The South Korean finance ministry said it plans for the offering to attract sovereigns, supranational and agency investors or SSAs that avoid frequently trading.

South Korea last sold dollar notes in October 2021.

In April this year, the Finance Ministry said it had picked Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Credit Agricole SA, HSBC Holdings Plc and the Korea Development Bank for a potential sale of offshore bonds.

Those are the banks still working on the planned deal, the source said last Friday. — Bloomberg

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South Korea , bond , LG Electronics


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