The Republic of Finland is expected to offer $2 billion of global bonds today in London.

"This is the first global issue they've ever done," one source familiar with the deal said. However, the source said, "They've been to the Yankee market before."

A global offering provides a larger investor base and helps ensure strong demand, the source said, adding that no limits govern where the offering will be sold or in what amounts.

"There's interest from all markets," the source said.

Price talk on the five-year bonds is 82 to 84 basis points over comparable Treasuries.

Earlier speculation put the issue's size at $1 billion to $1.5 billion, other sources said.

Co-lead managers on the offering are Merrill Lynch & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities, and Nomura International.

In other news, Airborne Freight Corp. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for up to $200 million of debt, Roy C. Liljebeck, the company's chief financial officer, said yesterday.

The filing is for senior unsecured debentures in amounts and maturities to be determined at the time of offering, he said.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. will underwrite the proposed debenture offering. Airborne will use proceeds to reduce bank debt, an Airborne release says.

Elsewhere, Oakwood Homes Corp. yesterday announced plans to redeem all of its 6 1/2% convertible subordinated debentures due 2012. About $26.8 million principle amount of the debentures are currently outstanding.

The redemption price will be 103.25% of the principal amount plus accrued interest to the redemption date, according to a company release. The expected redemption date is Dec. 18.

The redemption price per $1,000 principal amount of the debentures on Dec. 18 would be $1,046.40. That figure includes the premium and accrued interest. The debentures are convertible into Oakwood's common stock at a $11.33 conversion price per share. Approximately 13.5 million shares of Oakwood common stock are currently outstanding.

"Because the current market price for our common stock is substantially greater than the conversion price of the debentures, we anticipate that the holders will elect to convert their debentures prior to redemption," Nicholas J. St. George, Oakwood's president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

In secondary activity yesterday, high-yield bonds finished unchanged to slightly higher in quiet trading. High-grade bonds also finished unchanged in light trading.

New Issues

Mellon Financial issued $200 million of 6.125% senior notes due 1995. The noncallable senior notes were priced at 99.883 to yield 6.168% or 98 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering Baal, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it A-minus. Goldman, Sachs & Co. lead managed the offering.

Heller Financial issued $150 million of 6.5% notes due 1995. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.944 to yield 6.52% or 130 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Lehman Brothers lead managed the offering.

Rating News

Standard & Poor's has given an A-3 rating to Viacom International Inc.'s 3(A)3 commercial paper program.

Viacom will use the program to provide "alternative funding to the company's bank credit facilities for working capital and other short-term corporate needs," a Standard & Poor's release says.

The rating agency also affirmed the company's BB-plus subordinated debt and preliminary BBB-minus/BB-plus mixed senior/subordinated shelf registration.

The action affects about $748 million of subordinated debt. Viacom's implied senior rating is BBB.

"Viacom International's ratings were raised Oct. 29 reflecting its continuing improvement in operating results and multistate restructuring of most of its debt," the release says. "Largely driven by its cable TV and cable programming segments, operating cash flow advanced 12% in the nine months ended Sept. 30."

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