ASAT prices high yield benchmark for tech sector

The semiconductor and packaging company adds diversity to the Asian high yield universe.

Sole lead manager Citigroup priced an increased $150 million bond issue for Hong Kong semiconductor and packaging company ASAT on Friday. The SEC registered transaction was increased from a base offer size of $125 million after books closed just above the $1 billion mark.

Pricing came at par on a coupon of 9.25% to yield 573bp over seven-year Treasuries. The B/B3 rated issue has a seven-year final maturity and a sliding call structure starting in 2008 at 104.625%, then 102.313% in 2009 and par thereafter.

Pricing is inside initial expectations around the 10% mark though there are few comparables with which to compare the issue. The group has a November 2006 bond outstanding with a 12.5% coupon and yield in the mid to low 8% range. Proceeds from the new issue are being used to re-finance the old.

There are also a number of US semiconductor companies, although most tend to issue on a secured basis, while the new issue ranks as senior unsecured.

Just over two-thirds of the deal was placed in the US, with the remainder in Asia.

ING also priced a $225 million 10 non call five issue for Malaysia's Eon Bank on Friday after raising the issue size from $150 million. Pricing came at 99.848% on a coupon of 5.375% to yield 5.41% or 245bp over five-year Treasuries.

The bank has Baa3 subordinated debt rating from Moody's, one notch lower than RHB and BCB, which both issued subordinated debt last year. RHB has a January 2008 bond outstanding, which was trading to yield about 205bp over interpolated Treasuries on Friday, while BCB has an October 2008 issue outstanding at 170bp over.

Books for Eon's deal are believed to have closed about four times oversubscribed at the increased amount, with participation by about 85 accounts. By geography, the book split 65% Asia, 29% Europe and 6% offshore US.