APP keeps investors hanging on

The US SEC may not have even begun reviewing Asia Pulp & Paper''s (APP) critical debt exchange, which is highly unlikely to go ahead this year, if at all.

The SEC filing of a global exchange and consent offering for $1.938 billion of debt took place on September 18. As a frequent borrower, APP felt confident that the review process would be as straightforward as it had been in the past. Keen to stem rampant speculation about its financial predicament, the company also opted for a public, rather than confidential, filing in the hope that bringing news about the transaction into the open would lead to a bounce in its bond prices.

The company and its three lead managers - JP Morgan, Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs - fully expected an effective...

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