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EUROBONDS: Banks Sell Euro Bonds as Credit Rally Holds On

By Art Patnaude Banks and emerging-market companies rushed to sell debt in the European primary bond market Tuesday, as the rally stemming from last week's European Union summit continued to forge ahead. After a dismal second quarter of issuance, banks were using the positive tone in the market to issue senior unsecured bonds, with even a rare Italian lender entering the fray. Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP.MI) was selling a three-year, euro-denominated bond. Data-provider Dealogic pointed out that second-quarter bond sales from the country were down 75% compared with the year earlier. EU leaders put forward measures last Thursday to tackle Spain's bank bailout which, together with doubts over the senior creditor status of the region's permanent rescue fund, helped quell concerns about solvency in the euro zone. Dutch lender ING Bank NV priced a 1.5 billion euro ($1.89 billion) three-year, senior unsecured bond. Austrian bank Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI.VI) was selling a EUR750 million, five-year deal. Dutch lender ABN Amro Bank NV planned to sell a euro-denominated, 10-year subordinated bond. Initial price thoughts were 525-550 basis points over midswaps. Tier 2 bonds are subordinated debt that rank above Tier 1 debt, with fewer equity-like features but paying a higher return than senior debt. As for insurers, Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G.MI) moved ahead with its 30-year senior subordinated bond, confirming the size at EUR750 million. In the emerging market space, Brazilian mining company Vale SA (VALE) planned a benchmark-size, euro-denominated bond maturing in January 2023. Initial price thoughts are in the area of 185 basis points over midswaps. Russian energy company OJSC Gazprom (GAZP.RS) was setting up a series of investor meetings ahead of a potential bond sale. Gazprom will meet with investors in the U.S. and Europe on July 9 and 10. As credit markets cheered the EU initiatives, investors were left to speculate that further aid will soon come from central bankers, with the focus on the Bank of England and European Central Bank Thursday. At around 1300 GMT, the iTraxx Europe index, which comprises 125 high-grade borrowers, was at 157 basis points, five basis points tighter from the close Monday, according to data-provider Markit. The Crossover index of 40 mostly sub-investment-grade European corporate borrowers was 13 basis points tighter at 634 basis points. Elsewhere, the Dutch State Treasury Agency Tuesday said it priced its EUR6 billion bond, the DSL, 1.25% January 2018. The new DSL was sold at a uniform price of 99.71 and a uniform yield of 1.305%, the DSTA said. (Ben Edwards and Sarka Halas contributed to this report.) Write to Art Patnaude at art.patnaude@dowjones.com

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