Bloomberg News

ABN Joins Deutsche Bank in Reviving Unsecured Bond Sales

September 30, 2011

(Updates with final pricing details in 2nd paragraph.)

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- ABN Amro Bank NV, the Dutch lender nationalized in 2008, sold 500 million euros ($672 million) of senior unsecured floating-rate notes in the second offering of the debt by a European lender in more than two months.

The two-year notes were priced to yield 125 basis points more than the euro interbank offered rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The issue follows Deutsche Bank AG’s 1.5 billion-euro sale yesterday of similar-maturity notes at a spread of 98 basis points, Bloomberg data show.

European banks’ bond market access has been restricted by investor concerns on the lenders’ losses stemming from Europe’s debt crisis. Before Deutsche Bank’s deal yesterday, the last public offering of benchmark senior unsecured debt by a European lender was from Italy’s UniCredit SpA, which sold 1 billion euros of floating-rate notes on July 13, Bloomberg data show.

“We’re having new senior debt issues from banks at the top of the pecking order,” said Alberto Gallo, the London-based head of European credit strategy at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “I don’t think the window for unsecured issuance will remain open for very long.”

The cost of insuring bank debt jumped, with the Markit iTraxx Financial Index of credit-default swaps linked to the senior debt of 25 European lenders and insurers climbing 11 basis points to 272, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The gauge reached a record 314 basis points Sept. 12.

The Netherlands bought its stake in ABN Amro in 2008 after the company ran out of short-term funding and customers withdrew money. The Dutch government plans to sell shares in the bank as early as 2014.

ABN Amro’s senior unsecured bonds are ranked Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, and two steps lower at A by Standard & Poor’s.

Barclays Capital, Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank managed the sale with ABN Amro, Bloomberg data show.

--With assistance from Ben Martin and John Glover in London. Editors: Andrew Reierson, Michael Shanahan

To contact the reporter on this story: Hannah Benjamin in London at Hbenjamin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at Parmstrong10@bloomberg.net


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