SingTel jumbo divides market opinion

Singapore''s largest company by market capitalization has launched the City State''s largest corporate bond offering as it re-configures its balance sheet ahead of new overseas acquisitions.

Singapore Telecommunication's S$1 billion $575 million deal has broken new ground in both the domestic bond market, where it ranks as the largest offering by a long mile, and against international comparables, where only DBS has raised more money from the straight debt markets with its first $750 million sub debt deal. The five-year transaction also effectively marks SingTel's debt capital markets debut and its first step towards building gearing from 1.1% as at end FY1999 towards a mid-term goal around the 30% level.

Launched yesterday Monday, the deal has, nevertheless, attracted an equal measure of praise or criticism, depending on which side of...

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