The London-based investment banking unit of Citicorp has arranged a $250 million medium-term note program for Cemex, a Mexican company that is the world's No. 4 cement supplier.

Citicorp Investment Bank Ltd. on Friday launched an initial $150 million issue split into three $50 million tranches with maturities of two, three, and four years. The notes will be marketed in Europe and placed privately in the United States.

Several other U.S. banks have recently underwritten bonds and notes for issuers in Latin America. The Cemex program is the first, however, in which a Latin American private corporation has tapped the international market for medium-term notes with an unrated issues.

Ratings History

Other bond issues by Cemex carry a subinvestment-grade credit rating of Ba2 -- the highest among Mexican companies -- from Moody's Investors Services.

The three medium-term note tranches carry fixed coupons of 11.76% discounted to yield 10.62%, 10.825%, and 11.125%.

Most of the issue has been privately placed under the Security and Exchange Commission's rule 144a through Citicorp Securities Markets Inc. and Latin American Investment Bank Bahamas Ltd., another Citicorp unit.

Citicorp has arranged four private placements for Mexican corporations since the start of last year. Most recently, Citicorp acted as lead manager early last month on a three-year, $200 million Eurobond issue by Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce.

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