Bloomberg News

Hutchison Whampoa Sells U.S. Bonds as Offerings Revive

May 02, 2012

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (13), the telecommunications company owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing, tapped the U.S. market as dollar-denominated bond offerings revived from an April slump.

Hutchison sold $1 billion of perpetual bonds that pay 6 percent for the first five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company sold $1.5 billion of bonds in a two-part offering on Jan. 10 and has since increased the issues to $2.5 billion through add-on offerings, Bloomberg data show.

The Hong Kong-listed company is selling in U.S. debt markets as corporate-bond offerings, led by foreign issuers, increases to the most in six weeks. Issuance in April had slumped to $72 billion after sales of $442 billion in the first three months of the year. Companies marketed at least $14.6 billion of bonds yesterday in the U.S., the most since March 14, Bloomberg data show.

The Hutchison bonds are rated Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and an equivalent BBB by Standard & Poor’s, two steps lower than the firms’ primary ratings on the issuer. The lower rating reflects “the cumulative and deeply subordinated nature of these securities,” Moody’s said in a statement yesterday.

After five years, the coupon on the debt resets to about 5.18 percent more than five-year U.S. Treasuries and gain an additional 1 percentage point after 10 years, Bloomberg data show.

Yields on investment-grade bonds in the U.S. fell to a record low 3.37 percent on April 27, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sridhar Natarajan in New York at snatarajan15@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net


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