Korea Exchange Bank rekindles interest in five-and-a-half year securities

Banks are again issuing bonds with five-and-a-half year tenors to take advantage of attractive funding levels and to meet investor demand.

Issuing bonds with a five-and-a-half year tenor seems to be the flavour of the year for Korean and Indian banks. On Wednesday, Korea Exchange Bank KEB priced a $500 million bond, closely followed by India's ICICI Bank, which printed a benchmark 144AReg-S deal in the early hours of this morning.

From the beginning of April to late May, six Korean banks and two Indian banks launched bonds with five-and-a-half year maturities. During that period, the six-month extension beyond five years on a steep US treasury yield curve gave investors what they wanted -- a wider spread and a higher coupon.

But, by early June, swap terms into domestic currencies looked less attractive...

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