The Kingdom of Sweden chose floating-rate notes for yesterday's $1 billion offering to take advantage of investor belief that interest rates may have hit bottom, sources familiar with the deal said.
Investors "feel rates may go up," a source said.
Sweden issued $1 billion of global floating-rate notes due Nov. 15, 1996. The notes were priced at 99.90 and float quarterly at 1/8 point under the U.S. dollar three-month London Interbank Offered Rate. They also pay quarterly.
Moody's Investors Service rates the offering Aa2, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it AA-plus. Lehman Brothers and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. served as joint lead managers.
The deal, launched yesterday morning in London, was approximately 80% to 90% sold by midafternoon, U.S. eastern time.
Approximately 30% of demand came from Asia, 50% from Europe and the Middle East, and 20% from the United States, sources said.
The offering relative to the secondary market in Swedish bonds was somewhat aggressive, sources said. The fact that the offering was a global bond, the current interest rate environment, and the demand for large liquid sovereign deals all helped the offering.
"People look for liquidity and very strong creditworthiness combined," he said.
In other news, Amoco Co. yesterday announced a cash tender offer for three series of its debt totaling nearly $511 million.
"It's the old bit about we are seeking to retire certain debt that has a higher interest rate," Greg Clock, an Amoco spokesman, said yesterday.
The company has offered to purchase any and all of its close to $295 million of 8 5/8% debentures due Dec. 15, 2016; its $98 million of 9 3/4% debentures due March 20, 2016; and $117 million of 9 7/8% debentures due 2016.
The offer expires at 5 p.m., eastern standard time, on Nov. 23, unless extended.
Amoco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amoco Corp., formerly Standard Oil Co. (Indiana).
In secondary trading, spreads on high-grade issues were unchanged to slightly tighter. RJR Nabisco paper widened three to four basis points.
"RJR was a little wider," one trader said. "Their earnings were not really as good as expected." RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. yesterday said its $76 million of third-quarter net income was 58% below net income of $182 million for the same quarter in 1992. Junk ended unchanged.
NationsBank Corp. issued $400 million of 5.375% senior notes due 2000. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.058 to yield 58 basis points more than the 5.5% Treasuries of April 2000. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. NationsBanc Capital Markets Inc. was lead manager.
New York Telephone Co. issued $250 million of 6.70% debentures due 2023. Noncallable for 20 years, the debentures were priced at 97.606 to yield 6.89%, or 70 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Salomon Brothers won competitive bidding to underwrite the offering.
New York Telephone Co. sold $150 million of 5 5/8% notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 98.403 to yield 5.838%, or 43 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Morgan Stanley & Co. won competitive bidding to underwrite the offering.
Home Savings of America came to market with $250 million of 6% subordinated bank notes due 2000. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.718 to yield 6.05%, or 85 basis points over the old 30-year Treasury bond. Moody's rate the offering Baa1, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-plus. Lehman Brothers was lead manager of the offering.
National Bank of Hungary issued $200 million of 7.95% notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.843 to yield 7.973%, or 255 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Ba1, while Standard & Poor's rates it BB-plus. Salomon Brothers was lead manager of the offering.
Markel Corp. issued $75 million of 7 1/4% notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.3 to yield 194 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Ba1, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-minus. Smith Barney Shearson was lead manager of the offering.
Union Planters sold $75 million of 6.25% subordinated notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.305 to yield 6.345%, or 95 basis points over 10-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Baa3, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-minus. Merrill Lynch & Co. was lead manager of the offering.
Standard & Poor's Corp. downgraded Atlantic City Electric Co.'s senior secured debt to A-minus from A, senior unsecured debt and preferred stock to BBB-plus from A-minus, and commercial paper to A-2 from A-1.
The downgrade reflects S&P's expectations that Atlantic City Electric's financial parameters will not strengthen to levels adequate enough to offset rising business risk," Standard & Poor's said in a release.
"The company benefits from a relatively small industrial sector which comprises only 13% or revenues. Nevertheless, electric rates are among the region's highest, and pressures to offer more competitive rates to industrial and larger commercial customers are anticipated," Standard & Poor's said.