Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 12 News List

BNP Paribas mulls second bond issue on offshore market

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

BNP Paribas is mulling whether to issue its second batch of foreign currency-denominated bonds on the nation's offshore bond exchange, the bank said yesterday.

"We are committed to the market ? and plan to issue [similar products] regularly," Laurent de Meyere, president of BNP Paribas' Taiwan branch, said yesterday.

Mark Adams, head of Asia-Pacific debt capital markets at BNP Paribas' Hong Kong branch, said the company could issue bonds on behalf of renowned European companies, such as BMW, in order to attract investors in Taiwan, which is a brand-conscious market.

Issuing structured notes targeted at institutional investors is also an option, he said, without elaborating.

BNP Paribas has just completed issuing its first batch of Australian currency-denominated bonds worth A$308 million (US$258 million). The product was listed for trading on April 10.

Four or five foreign financial institutions are interested in rolling out bonds products and are in talks with local underwriters at the moment, said Lee Shyan-yuan (李賢源), a policy-making member of the Financial Supervisory Commission, who is also the major promoter and designer of the offshore bond market, Formosa Bond.

John Lee (李鐘培), head of HSBC Ltd's capital markets division, said last month that the bank planned to launch a bond by the end of the current quarter.

The bond market has great potential to be explored as only US$500 million of bonds are currently in issue, compared to the US$79 billion of foreign currency savings in both domestic and offshore business units, FSC's Lee said.

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