State-owned Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) raised $500 million from a five-year bond denominated in Swiss franc in an offering that was completed within the first 50 minutes to reflect high appetite for new debt from a Korean public entity amid eased geopolitical risks.
The issue was priced at 35 basis points above the Swiss franc Libor interest rate. The three-month Libor target range in Swiss is minus 1.25 percent and minus 0.25 percent.
The proceeds would be used to repay $500 million 2013 floating rate notes maturing in June.
Korean entities have been rushing to the Swiss negative interest rate zone amid higher interest rates elsewhere.
State lender Export-Import Bank of Korea sold 350 million in Swiss franc denomination in February at 1 basis point rate cheaper than the offered band due to overwhelming response. GS Caltex in April raised 100 million in Swiss franc issue.
KNOC - incorporated under the Korea National Oil Corporation Act - is a state-run company allotted with national credit rating of Aa2/AA. The company is engaged in oil exploration and oil reservation businesses among others.
KNOC logged operating losses in 2015 and 2016 but managed to swing back to profit last year by raising 174.2 billion won ($161.7 million) worth of operating income.
By Chung Hee-young and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]