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SBIs 325mn Swiss franc bond issue gets overwhelming response

Mumbai: In spite of the turbulent market conditions, the State Bank of India on Saturday successfully concluded its debut five-year Swiss franc bond issue, raising 325 million (around Rs 1,500 crore).

The bonds, largest-ever by an Indian entity, come under the SBI`s mid-term note (MTN) programme and carry a coupon of 3.375 per cent. The bonds, issued through its London branch, are listed on the Six Swiss Exchange, Zurich.

The price of the bond, in the form of senior debt fixed rate bond with a maturity of five years, was fixed on February 8, and February 22, 2011 is the settlement date, while the maturity date is February 22, 2016. The issue has a spread of over five-year Swiss franc with a mid-swap of 185 basis points, a SBI release said here.

This is the third bond issue by SBI this fiscal under its MTN programme, following the USD 1-billion issue in July and the 750-million euro issue in November of 2010.

These bonds are payable annually in the form of Regulation-S (Reg-S) global notes. Reg-S bonds are open to all investors barring those in the US. It can be noted that firms normally issue two types of bonds one is Reg-S and 144-A bonds which are open to all investors, including institutional investors in the US, but not American retail investors.

SBI Chairman Omprakash Bhatt had led an intensive roadshow across Switzerland covering Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva and Lugano in the run-up to the programme.

The issue attracted over 100 investors, largely from wealth managers and private investors and represents the largest-ever Swiss franc bond issue by an Indian bank, helping the bank to upsize the issue from 250 million to 325 million.

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