Kookmin's dollar debut

Asia''s largest commercial bank outside of Hong Kong launches its first fixed rate bond.

A $300 million five-year Reg S offering was priced yesterday Tuesday by lead managers ABN AMRO and HSBC.

Coming right behind a huge raft of policy bank paper, timing has been unfortunate and observers say Kookmin did consider whether it might be wiser to postpone the issue. However, conscious that investors will be distracted by Christmas and a similarly large wave of Korean tier 1 capital deals - including a prospective $1 billion issue from Kookmin itself - the decision was taken to proceed and price at a market clearing level.

Terms were set at 99.868% on a coupon of 4.625% to yield 4.655% or 138bp over Treasuries. At this level the deal came...

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