Strong buying interest, and not just from the usual suspects, drove yesterday's Republic of Argentina's global bond of offering to $1 billion.

Crossover buyers from the investment grade ranks -- not high-yield or emerging market mutual funds -- consumed the biggest percentage of the offering in North America, as well as the biggest share overall, according to James Quigley, managing director of Merrill Lynch & Co.'s global debt syndicate. Merrill Lynch underwrote the offering together with Salomon Brothers Inc. and Banco Rio de la Plata.

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