OCBC mandates rare senior deal

Singaporean bank to make rare foray into senior debt market with $500 million issue.

Citigroup and Deutsche Bank have been mandated to lead a debut senior FRN by Singapore's OCBC. While it is common to see Korean banks in the dollar debt markets, it is rare to see banks from virtually any other country in the region, unless they are seeking to bolster their capital with a subordinated debt issue.

The three-year deal, which is scheduled to be priced towards the end of next week, is therefore likely to be viewed as a benchmark for the region's banking sector. Specialists also say it will be syndicated as a true capital markets transaction rather than in the style of the old loan style FRN's of pre-crisis Asia.

The main benchmarks are likely to be similarly rated Australian and European bank deals, although Aa3/A rated OCBC has a subordinated deal outstanding. The 7.75% September 2011 deal is currently trading at 112.59% to yield 5.62% This equates to a Treasury spread of 80bp and Libor spread of 82bp.

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