Titan Petrochemicals Group is planning to raise US$400 million through a high-yield bond issue to help fund the acquisition of more ships as well as investment in oil storage facilities in China. In a stock exchange announcement, the company said it had hired Morgan Stanley to manage the sale and added that the senior fixed-rate notes would probably be guaranteed by certain Titan subsidiaries. No further details were available but market sources said the bonds would have a seven-year maturity. The roadshow would kick off in Hong Kong today and continue to Singapore tomorrow, London on Friday and the United States early next week, with the final pricing determined shortly thereafter, the sources said. The offer is expected to draw strong demand as investors are currently very keen on picking up high-yield bonds. High-yield notes offered in recent months by regional issuers, including Hong Kong-listed Asia Aluminum and Chaoda Modern Agriculture, have all seen orders exceed supply by several times and many of them have been able to both increase the size of their offer and tighten the price during the marketing process. Titan has the added attraction of the China growth story and the country's insatiable appetite for resources. The firm generates more than 90 per cent of its earnings from oil transportation, with most of the rest coming from oil storage. The Titan bond has been given preliminary ratings of B-plus by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and B1 by Moody's Investor Service, which is one notch below the company rating. The difference between the ratings, S&P said, reflected the company's high level of secured bank loans.