Thailand mandates Samurai

The Kingdom is preparing to return to the international public bond markets for the first time since 1997.

Salomon Smith Barney has been appointed as bookrunner for a Y35 billion $284 million deal, with Daiwa mandated as joint-lead. The deal is expected to have a five-year maturity and observers believe that it will be launched before year-end.

For many, the key question will be whether Thailand can price through or close to Korea despite the fact that the former has a lower BBB-Baa3 rating compared to the latter's BBBBaa2. The most obvious benchmark is the recent five-year yen issue completed by the Korea Development Bank KDB, which is currently trading at about 75bp over yen-libor.

Japanese experts say that Thailand should probably trade about 10bp to 15bp outside of...

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