Asian bank market begins kamikaze attack on Samurai sector

The resurgent appeal of the Samurai bond market for Asian borrowers appears to have ended as abruptly as it began, with the autumn pipeline succumbing to the allure of the loan markets.

Asset hungry Asian banks have long been blamed for the absence of Asian borrowers in the international dollar bond markets. For most of this year, however, the Yen markets appeared to have escaped their attention, with an ever increasing number of Asian sovereign and semi-sovereign borrowers opting to follow the lead of the Korea Development Bank, which re-opened the sector in November 1999.

For many borrowers, the low absolute coupons on offer combined with the diversification opportunities of a market where investors were flush with liquidity and chasing yield proved a winning mix. So too, for mandate-starved debt capital markets specialists, the Samurai sector seemed to offer a promising new area...

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