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Global Company Bond Sales Nearing $4 Trillion Set Annual Record

Wednesday, 03 December 2014 01:40 PM

Global corporate bond sales set an annual record as companies lock in borrowing costs that forecasters say are bound to rise.

SoftBank Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Medtronic Inc. were among borrowers that helped push issuance to $3.974 trillion past the previous peak of $3.973 trillion in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales in the U.S. have already reached an unprecedented $1.5 trillion.

Issuance defied predictions of a slowdown made by underwriters from Bank of America Corp. to Barclays Plc as a decline in benchmark costs that no one foresaw pushed yields to record lows. While central banks in Europe and Japan have stepped up their own stimulus efforts, the likelihood the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates has fueled company borrowings worldwide.

“We’ve seen so much issuance just because everybody’s thinking that next year’s going to be the year when rates start rising,” Nathan Barnard, a fixed-income analyst at Portland, Oregon-based Leader Capital Corp., said in a telephone interview. “It’s cheap financing still so why not do that.”

Investors are poised to earn 7.67 percent this year on debt from the most creditworthy to the riskiest borrowers worldwide, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Corporate Index. Those would be the largest gains since a 10.78 percent return in 2012, the index data show.

Softbank Bond

Chinese companies issued a record amount of securities this year, boosted by the central bank’s decision to ease monetary policy as it sought to ensure economic growth would meet a 7.5 percent annual target.

Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank sold 400 billion yen ($3.4 billion) sale of 2.5 percent, seven-year bonds, Bloomberg data show.

U.S. corporate bond offerings were bolstered this week by Medtronic’s $17 billion sale and Amazon’s $6 billion offer, Bloomberg data show.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., a Hangzhou, China-based company, raised $8 billion of dollar-denominated bonds in November, its debut offering and Asia’s largest ever U.S. dollar-denominated bond sale, Bloomberg data show.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the top underwriter of international and U.S. bond sales in 2014, Bloomberg data show. Deutsche Bank AG has managed the most euromarket bond offers, at $165.5 billion, and HSBC Holdings Plc underwrote the most Asia-Pacific bonds excluding Japanese issues, the data show.

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Global corporate bond sales set an annual record as companies lock in borrowing costs that forecasters say are bound to rise.
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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 01:40 PM
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