CITIC Pacific to launch note issue

CITIC Pacific's US$200 million three-year floating-rate note will be launched next week, says arranger HSBC Markets.

The note, carrying a coupon of 50 basis points above the six-month London interbank offered rate, should be on sale next week, said Andrew Ferguson, head of originations and new issues of HSBC Markets. The issue price of the note is not yet finalised.

Meanwhile, Peregrine Fixed-Income refused to comment on whether it was arranging a US$1 billion bond issue for Hopewell Holdings.

'For the time being I can't confirm the deal,' a spokesman said.

Bloomberg reported that the transaction would be in two tranches and that several fund managers had held talks with Peregrine.

A banker who said he had discussed the issue had misgivings about the size. 'Basically, it has been talked about for months and Peregrine advised Hopewell to get a rating for it [the bond issue]. The rating has not been arranged yet. Anyway, US$1 billion is too optimistic,' he said. 'It's too big.' Bloomberg said the launch would take place late this month and Hopewell would be assigned a rating from at least one of the major US rating companies.

Meanwhile, Chinese conglomerate CITIC yesterday issued US$200 million worth of bonds at nine per cent through lead manager J P Morgan Securities.

The bonds, priced at 99.501 to yield 9.07 per cent or 140 basis points above the 10-year Treasury note, were rated A3 by Moody's Investors Service and BBB by Standard & Poor's.

CITIC, a government-owned investment holding company, will use the proceeds from the offering to finance offshore oil development projects of the China National Offshore Oil Corp.

The issue is CITIC's second in the United States debt market.