Kookmin Bank to offer dollar bond

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Kookmin Bank to offer dollar bond

Kookmin Bank is marketing a U.S. dollar-denominated bond as the nation’s issuers continue to seek floating-rate debt.

Kookmin is offering a three-year note at 105 basis points more than the three-month London interbank offered rate, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

China Shipping Group is selling a five-year security at a yield of about 280 basis points over Treasuries and Hong Kong & China Gas is selling a perpetual debt at about a 5 percent yield, other people said.

Borrowers from Korea have dominated issuance of floating-rate notes in the Asia-Pacific region outside Japan this year, with Kookmin being the third. The nation’s issuers have the second-highest amount of debt due in the region this year after China, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Korean borrowers have $26.9 billion maturing, after China’s $44 billion.

“There is definitely an increasing trend for floating rate notes,” Shankar Narayanaswamy, the Singapore-based head of credit strategy at Standard Chartered, said in a phone interview yesterday. “Korean banks need money across the term structure and a lot of real money investors are expressing an interest in the instrument to cover for risks of rising Treasury yields,” he said.

Dollar bond yields for Korean issuers are at a record low of 3.62 percent, according to a JPMorgan Chase & Co. index.

Kookmin’s proposed notes are expected to be rated A1 by Moody’s Investors Service. The bank sold $500 million of three-year securities at 125 basis points more than Libor in October. Bloomberg
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