Semiconductor maker QPL International Holdings has increased the size of its five-year floating rate note (FRN) by US$50 million to US$150 million after a strong response from merchant banks. Sumitomo Finance (Asia) - co-lead manager of the issue with Standard Chartered Bank - said the note would pay 145 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, payable every six months from March 26. It would be floated on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and had call and put options attached for the first three years. Tim Ramsbottom, analyst at HSBC James Capel, said about HK$200 million of the proceeds was expected to be used to refinance debt. Other funds would help boost production capacity in Britain and China, where combined investment by the company would be more than US$500 million in the next five years. A European brokerage analyst said QPL's huge expansion proposal had sparked speculation of a possible spin-off by the company to raise further funds. 'The FRN is just a curtain raiser of a series of corporate activities,' he said. 'The market is speculating the company will either spin off its lead-frame manufacturing arm or integrated circuit assembly arm.'