SK Corp prices capital markets debut

The Korean oil refiner has become the first non government-owned Korean corporate to tap the fixed rate dollar markets since the Asian financial crisis.

It has been so long since a Korean corporate tapped the international dollar markets, that most market participants have been hard pressed to recall the most immediate predecessor to SK Corp.

Samsung Electronics just preceded the financial crisis in September 1997 with a $493 million transaction, but in the intervening four years, the Republic's corporate sector has either been unwilling or unable to stage much of a return. For many, the domestic bond markets offered a cheaper alternative. And for those that might have considered issuing into the offshore markets, sub-investment grade credit ratings and high spreads constrained a large number, while the MoFE's reluctance to grant overseas borrowing permits, prevented...

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