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Slovenia Issues EUR 1.5BN 15-Year Bond

Ljubljana, 23 March (STA) - Slovenia carried out a EUR 1.5bn 15-year benchmark bond issue on Tuesday after issuing a ten-year benchmark bond in the same amount in January. The coupon rate of the latest bond is 5.125%, the Finance Ministry said.

The banks Credit Agricole, ING, Societe Generale and Unicredit banka Slovenija were selected to manage the issue, the ministry said in a press release.

The issue was 130 basis points above the benchmark midswap rate, which means a margin of 188 basis points above the German state bond, the benchmark in the euro zone.

The ministry said the issue came at the time of positive market trends and reduced uncertainty in financial markets.

Orders topping EUR 3.6bn were registered in less than two hours the order book was open. A total of 165 investors participated in the issue.

Insurance companies and pension funds acquired 35% of the issue, asset managers 35%, banks 26%, central banks 3% and other investors 1%.

Most buyers were from Germany and Austria (21% of the issue), followed by those from the UK and Ireland (18%), Italy (14%), France (13%), Benelux (6%), Central and Eastern Europe (6%), Switzerland (5%), the US (4%) and Scandinavia (3%). Domestic investors acquired 8% of the issue.

The 15-year state bond is among the longest maturity bonds nominated in euros in 2011, the ministry said, noting that this meant Slovenia was deemed a high-quality and reliable issuer by international investors.

The budget financing programme adopted by the government late last year only envisaged one fresh state bond issue for 2011.

Last year, Slovenia issued two benchmark state bonds; a ten-year one amounting to EUR 1.5bn with the interest rate of 4.125% was completed in January, while a EUR 1bn five-year bond with an interest rate of 2.75% was issued in March.

In 2009, the country completed three bond issues, with a maturity of three, five and 15 years. The total nominal value of the bonds was EUR 4bn.

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