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McDonald's Selling Two-Part Bond Combo; Market Weakening

By Patrick McGee Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Corporate bonds are weakening as risk-aversion takes hold of investors, but McDonald's (MCD) is lovin' it. The burger chain has upsized its two-part bond combo to $900 million, from $750 million when it reported its borrowing plans just before the equity market opened. McDonald's attained a corporate market record-low 3.70% coupon for 30-year bonds when it last issued debt in February. This time around, it is selling three-year notes at 0.45 percentage points over Treasurys and seven-year notes at 0.88 points over Treasurys. Earlier price guidance was slightly higher for each tranche, suggesting strong demand. The deal is being led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Group, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo & Co. Meantime, high-grade corporate bonds aren't immune to the broader selloff. Bank bonds are leading the way downward, as is typical. Morgan Stanley 4.75% coupon bonds due 2014 have declined to $98.162 from $98.286. Their yields soared 0.73 percentage points to 5.814%. Markit's CDX North America Investment Grade Index, a proxy for risk, shot up 2% in early afternoon-trading to 121 basis points. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point, and the figure represents the annual cost to insure bonds for five years. At this level, the annual cost to insure $10 million of bonds would be $121,000. On Tuesday, the cost had fallen to $117,000 on two days of improving sentiment. On Friday, it was $124,000, the costliest of 2012. -By Patrick McGee, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2382; patrick.mcgee@dowjones.com

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