Citi announces 'samurai bonds' move

10 September 2008

US bank Citigroup has launched the biggest ever issue of samurai bonds.

The $2.93 billion sale is aimed at Japanese retail investors, with the products carrying a coupon rate of 3.22 per cent.

A launch spread of 207.73 basis points above three-year swap rates is also attached to the bonds, which have been rated Aa3 by Moody's and AA- by Standard & Poor's.

Samurai bonds are yen bonds issued in Japan from foreign financial firms.

Several large Wall Street firms are thought to be looking to Japan in a bid to restore their battered balance sheets - with high-yielding bonds very popular among investors in the Asian nation.

Citi's last issue was in June, while Goldman Sachs also launched a sale of samurai bonds in January 2008.

Claims that the latest samurai bonds issue is the biggest-ever has been derived from Thomson Reuters data, CNBC reports.

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