Appetite dims for Korean bonds

Korea Western Power struggles to attract investors for what may turn out to be Asia''s last international bond offering of 2002.

Lead managers ABN AMRO and Lehman Brothers finally priced a $150 million Reg S deal for Korea Western Power Kowepco on Friday, a week later than the market was originally anticipating. Virtually all market participants believe the deal brings 2002 to a dispiriting close and for the five gencos lined up behind it, pricing marks an inauspicious debut for a new issuance sector.

At the outset, the deal had been expected to price about 10bp behind the Korean Electricity Power Corporation's Kepco September 2007 bond, which has been fairly range-bound around the 126bp level for the past two weeks and was trading at this level on Friday. However, in a sign that the deal was...

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