Deutsche launches Singapore bond for US insurers

Deutsche Bank today launched a S$100 million ($57.2 million) bond deal for Jackson National Life Insurance Company, a US subsidiary of the Prudential Group.

It was the issuer's first offering in the domestic Singapore debt market. The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) and the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) acted as co-leads.

The 10-year notes, rated AAA by Standard & Poor's and Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service, carry a 3.92% coupon, to be paid on a semi-annual basis. The re-offer price was set at par.

The transaction highlights the willingness of foreign investors to try their luck in the Singapore market, and to do longer-dated deals in the current interest rate environment. "More and more foreign corporates are turning to raise capital, particularly in Singapore," says Sim Buck Khim, head of debt capital markets at Deutsche's Singapore office. "Regional investors, in turn, have been responding very well to issues by such quality corporates such as Jackson."

According to Khim, the transaction was well received because the coupon offered a little upside to investors. "I think if you compare it with other triple-A deals, this offers good value," he argues. "Plus, investors like to get their hands on paper from a new name in the market."

Khim added that investors with a preference for longer dated paper, mainly insurance companies, had bought the bonds. He felt that the recent trend of issuers towards longer issues was hardly surprising. "On the supply side, most issuers at the current low interest rate levels recognize the need to get some longer term issues out," he explains. "And on the demand side, it's the only part of the yield curve that offers decent value for investors."

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