The World Bank is expected to launch a $1.25 billion U.S. dollar global bond offering next Wednesday or Thursday, a World Bank official said yesterday.
"We think that this looks like an attractive time to lock in current low rates," said Hakan Lonaeus, acting senior manager for dollar and yen funding at the bank.
Lonaeus said that while the low rates make this a good time to borrow from the bank's standpoint, investors believe that U.S. interest rates will drop still lower, thus increasing the value of their fixed-income securities.
The offering will be noncallable until its final maturity, which is expected to be 10 years, but will be determined by market circumstances at the time of launch, Lonaeus said.
The main reason the World Bank is leaning toward a 10-year offering is "to continue to maintain a global dollar bond yield curve," Lonaeus said. The bank currently' has no such 10-year security outstanding, he said.
The World Bank needs to raise at least $2.3 billion, for its July 1, 1993 to June 30, 1994 fiscal year. The bank plans to raise funds through one global bond offering and some other transactions such as structured deals and direct borrowings from central banks, Lonaeus said.
Next week's offering will be distributed simultaneously in the Euromarkets, the United States, and Japan. As with earlier issues, the securities are designed to trade globally on a 24-hour basis through integrated clearing systems in the United States and in the Euromarkets.
The World Bank's last global. offering was a $1.25 billion; 30-year issue in January, Lonaeus said. Its previous global deal was a $1.5 billion, five-year deal in July 1992, he said.
Lonaeu's declined to speculate on price talk.
In connection with next week's offering, the World Bank announced formation of a 13-member international management group to bring the issue to market. Lehman Brothers inc. and Nomura Securities will serve as joint bookrunning lead managers, according to a World Bank release.
Rounding out the team are: Credit Suisse First Boston; Daiwa Securities; Deutsche Bank AG; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; IBJ International PLC; J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.; Merrill Lynch & Co.; Morgan Stanley & Co.; Paribas Capital Markets; Salomon Brothers Inc.; and UBS Limited.
Elsewhere, a U.S. District Court Judge in Maryland Monday approved a settlement between Marriott Corp. and bondholders who had accused the company in eight class action suits, a Marriott release issued yesterday said.
Bondholders had objected to Marriott's plans to divide into two different companies, leaving one with virtually all of the company's debt.
The company plans to accomplish the split through a special dividend transaction.
Judge Alexander Harvey called the settlement "fair, reasonable, and adequate," according to a Marriott release.
The judge also denied objections to the settlement filed by PPM America Inc. and the state Board of Administration of Florida.
The release said the settlement "disposes of all substantive legal claims challenging the special dividend."
However, Marriott said yesterday that its board of directors has set new record and distribution dates for the special dividend transaction.
The dates were pushed back because Marriott has not yet received an Internal Revenue Service ruling that the dividend would be
The record, date was, originally scheduled for today, and the distribution date was set for Sept. 10. The board voted Monday to change the record date to Sept. 30 and the distribution date to Oct. 8, according to the release.
"We are Working with the IRS to complete its review process," Stephen F. Bollenbach, Marriott's executive vice president and chief financial officer said in the release, "and we are confident that we will receive a favorable ruling."
The distribution date will be at the end of Marriott's tenth four-week accounting period for fiscal 1993, the release says.
A favorable IRS ruling would clear the way for Marriott's special dividend.
Under the special dividend, Marriott shareholders would receive one share in Marriott International Inc., a lodging and services management company, for each Marriott Corp. share they hold. Marriott Corp. will be rechristened Host Marriott Corp., and will own a portfolio of hotels and retirement communities in addition to airport and toll road concessions. Both companies will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In secondary trading yesterday, high-yield bonds ended unchanged. Spreads on high-grade issues also ended unchanged in thin activity.
New Issues and Ratings
Bank of Nova Scotia issued $250 million of 6.25% subordinated debentures due 2008. The noncallable debentures were priced at 99.451 to yield 6.307 or 84 basis points mare than 10-year Treasuries. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-plus. Salomon Brothers acted as lead manager on the offering.
Wisconsin Electric Power issued $60 million of 5.125% first mortgage bonds due 1998. The noncallable bonds were priced at 99.80 to yield 5.171% or 33 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Aa2, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-plus. Salomon Brothers was lead manager.
K N Energy Inc. issued $50 million of 6.5% debentures due 2013. The noncallable bonds were priced at 99.70 to yield 6.531% or 110 basis points more than 10-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Dillon Read & Co. was sole manager of the offering.
Texfi Industries Inc. issued $34.5 million of 8.75% senior subordinated notes due 1999 at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 390 basis points more than five-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering B3. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. managed the offering, which was increased from $30 million.
Moody's has confirmed The Limited's A1 long-term senior debt rating.
The action affects $650 million of long-term debt.
"The rating agency's action is based on its view that The Limited will achieve significant benefits from the store's restructuring, which should position the company more favorably in its Limited and Lerner store divisions," a Moody's release says." In addition, the company will continue to maintain strong liquidity going forward."
Confirmed debt includes notes and debentures rated Al and the shelf registration of senior securities rated (P)A1. The company's commercial paper rating is Prime 1, the release says.