National Australia Bank launches first Singapore bond

National Australia Bank hits the Singapore debt market for the first time with a S$50 million corporate bond.

National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia's four biggest commercial banks, today launched a S$50 million ($27.9 million) bond deal via JP Morgan. Although it has been a frequent issuer domestically, as well as issuing in the US, the UK, Hong Kong and Japan, this is the bank's first transaction out of Singapore.

The single tranche two-year deal, which priced at par, carries an annual fixed rate coupon of 6.60% and is rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor's. It was placed with a single insurance company, the lead manager confirms.

An official at JP Morgan admits the transaction priced significantly above the government benchmark, but adds this was to do with a private deal launched at the same time by NAB. "The coupon looks substantially above the market swap offer - between 200bps to 300bps - and similarly rated deals with the same maturity price around 3.30%," the official says. " But the reason the coupon is at this level is to do with another NAB deal done at the same time which is not in the public domain."

The official would not comment on the privately placed transaction.

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