Thai Exim puts baht to the test

Government-owned Export-Import Bank of Thailand has launched a two-tranche Bt5 billion offering that will test the strength of the local currency bond market.

Book building began today for a landmark domestic currency transaction by the Export-Import Bank of Thailand Thai Exim. The government-owned bank's Bt5 billion $128.3 million two tranche offering is a highly symbolic example of the difficulties faced by the international bond markets in trying to attract quality Asian issuers.

It shows that even those borrowers with genuine foreign currency needs would rather stick to their home markets and then swap the proceeds - rather than face the prospect of higher funding costs and cautious international investors, who are still mindful of an Asian premium in their pricing demands.

Thai Exim was lined up by the government last autumn...

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