An infrequent issuer into the capital markets, State Street Boston Corp. sold $150 million of 30-year bonds Tuesday.
The bonds, the first since 1993 from the Boston bank, had a 10-year put option and were priced at 45 basis points over 10-year Treasuries, for a 7.35% coupon rate.
"This is a high-quality name that is seldom in the debt markets," said Robert Cook, a senior security analyst at Conseco Capital Management. "It's a new name for investors to put into their portfolios."
Mr. Cook said investors' appetite for investment grade bonds continues to be generally strong.
State Street is the second bank in as many weeks to issue 30-year paper with a 10-year put option. U.S. Bancorp came to market June 10 with a $200 million issue.
The State Street deal was priced 10 basis points tighter than the U.S. Bancorp issue, reflecting the Boston Bank's higher debt rating from both Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investor Services.
Robert L. O'Kelley, executive vice president and chief financial officer at State Street, said the bonds sold out the first day.
The put option gives the investor a chance to redeem the bonds before their maturity, and it gives the issuer funds at a cheaper rate.
"We're happy with this price at either 30 years or 10 years," Mr. O'Kelley said.
Tuesday turned out to be "an opportune time to issue" because rates have come down after rising through much of the year, he said. "We want our bondholders to feel like they got a good deal."
The deal, which was led by Goldman, Sachs & Co., comes from a $500 million shelf offering that State Street filed in April and likely will be followed up with others, Mr. O'Kelley said.
Mr. O'Kelley said the bank is looking primarily to the bond market to match assets and liabilities but would tap alternative sources of funds, such as the Eurobond market.
The bank issued debt to fuel its 15% annual growth, Mr. O'Kelley said.
"We would like to fund our long-term growth with long-term assets," Mr. O'Kelley said, "and the most efficient way of doing that is through long- term debt."
The chief financial officer said much of the bank's growth is occurring overseas.
Mr. Cook, the analyst, said several other issues were expected this week, including a 10-year, $500 million deal for Britain's Midlands Bank PLC and a 10-year, $750 million deal for ABN Amro of Holland.
"There'll be a lot of supply at the same time," he said, so market conditions could be less favorable to issuers.