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Temasek to sell first sterling bonds, hires banks

Temasek to sell first sterling bonds, hires banks
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First Published: Mon, Jul 19 2010. 04 15 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jul 19 2010. 04 15 PM IST
Singapore: Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings will soon sell sterling-denominated bonds for the first time to diversify its funding sources.
Temasek has hired UBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and RBS to sell the bonds, according to a note sent to fund managers on Monday by one of the investment banks.
Temasek plans a benchmark issue, industry jargon for an issue equivalent to at least $500 million.
“The issue is expected to be launched in the near future, subject to market conditions,” the bank said in the note.
Sources with knowledge of the deal said the fund raising was not linked to any fresh investments in the UK. The sources could not be identified because the deal is not public.
Temasek, which manages a portfolio worth S$186 billion ($135 billion) at end-March, has distanced itself from speculation it could invest in BP Plc, which has approached several sovereign wealth funds for cash to ward off a takeover and help pay for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Its biggest investment in the UK is Asia-focused Standard Chartered in which it has a stake of about 18%.
“They see sterling as an additional pool of capital for them,” said one of the sources. “They want to create a yield curve in different currencies.”
Temasek has sold bonds worth $6 billion under its existing $10 billion medium-term note programme, mostly in the Singapore and US dollar, according to its annual report released earlier this month.
Its bonds have a weighted average maturity of 13 years and are rated AAA by both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
Analysts said Temasek was taking advantage of the low interest rates to raise long-term funds at attractive levels.
“There is demand but with AAA (-rated paper) being so low on the yield, it doesn’t come on as so attractive so we are advising clients to go down the risk spectrum but cherry-pick the better ones,” said Joseph Tan, Asian chief economist for private banking at Credit Suisse.
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First Published: Mon, Jul 19 2010. 04 15 PM IST
More Topics: Temasek Holdings | UBS | Deutsche Bank | HSBC | RBS |