S. Korea’s global bond issues up 13% this year despite N. Korea risk

2017.10.02 16:10:42 | 2017.10.02 16:26:58

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South Korea`s global bond offerings this year increased 13.2 percent against a year-ago period to near $30 billion as of the end of September despite increased geopolitical risks from North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat.

According to data provider Dealogic on Sunday, debt issued in foreign currencies totaled $27.9 billion as of September 28, up 13.2 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The increased issuance came despite Pyongyang’s firing of a ballistic missile in April and its sixth nuclear test last month as aggressive stimulus measures launched by the new administration and improved business performance helped revive demand from foreign investors.

Refinancing for maturing corporate bonds also crowded this year’s supply.

In the first quarter, state entities Korea South-East Power Co. and Korea Resources Corp. had been disappointed in their offering after U.S. President Donald Trump indicated a military option to remove the North Korean missile threat. But the mood changed favorably from the second quarter due to political stability after President Moon Jae-in was sworn in.

The second-half pipeline was initiated by big names like Kyobo Life Insurance, Industrial Bank of Korea, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Doosan Infracore. In August, wireless carrier KT raised $1 billion at the lowest-ever spread in the private sector. State lender KDB went ahead with the offering even after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test in September, followed by Shinhan Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hyundai Capital America and SK Shipping.

By Park Yun-gu

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