State Street Boston Corp. on Wednesday issued $100 million of senior debt with a rare 10-year maturity. The banking company issued the notes to yield 6%, at a spread equal to 55 basis points over the 10-year U.S Treasury note.
State Street is the second bank this week to issue senior debt with a long 10-year maturity. MBNA Corp. of Newark, Del., on Monday issued $100 million of 10-year senior notes.
Senior debt usually carries a maturity of five years or less while subordinated debt usually carries a maturity of seven to 10 years.
Subordinated debt counts as Tier 2 capital, but regulators don't fully count as capital debt with a maturity of five years or less.
Why State Street issued the unusual 10-year notes isn't clear. Bank officials were nt available for comment by press time.
"State Street has tremendous capital ratios, so they don't need to issue subordinated debt to raise Tier 2 capital," said a capital markets source. "They are clearly not under any pressure to raise their capital levels."
A capital markets source speculated State Street's issue will be used in part to refinance $75 million of 8.5% senior debt due in 1996 that the bank will retire early in November.
Another source said the bank may have chosen a longer-term issue to lock in interests rates that are close to historic lows.
State Street had an 11.5% Tier 1 capital ratio and 12.6% total capital ratio at the end of June, well above the regulatory thresholds for "well capitalized" banks - 6% for Tier 1 and 10% for total risk-adjusted capital.
Th noncallable notes were rated A1 by Moody's Investor Service and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's Corp. Goldman, Sachs & Co. was the lead manager for the issue.
Separately, $40 million of cumulative preferred stock was issued yesterday by Margaretteen Financial Corp. The issue of 1.4 million shares was priced to carry an 8.25% dividend.
Goldman Sachs was the lead underwriter for the issue, which was rated Bal by Moody's and BBB-minus by Standard & Poor's.