SingTel debuts in dollars

Having beaten six other banks at auction, Merrill Lynch placed out $440 million of SingTel bonds yesterday on behalf of Cable & Wireless shareholders selling down securities received as part payment for the acquisition of C&W Optus.

The highly unusual nature of the entire transaction meant that there was little consensus on the merits of selling the bonds to investors some 25bp cheaper than Cable Wireless had been allocated them. The UK telecoms group put the bonds out to auction on Monday night, but for the seven bidding banks, pricing was complicated by the fact that the bonds are likely to be extremely illiquid and more importantly, SingTel's credit fundamentals are currently in a state...

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