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Korean firms rush to sell debts ahead of U.S. rate hike

All Headlines 09:54 September 08, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- Some South Korean companies with relatively high credit ratings are hurrying to raise capital in the debt market amid growing speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may lift its benchmark interest rate soon, market watchers said Thursday.

The move is also attributable to growing worries that the corporate bond market may be strained suddenly by the impact of a corporate revamp drive, they added.

There was not a single A-rated corporate bond offering here in August. This month, however, SK Incheon Petrochem Co. issued bonds worth 180 billion won (US$164 million).

Korea Real Estate Investment & Trust Co. and SeAH Steel Corp. are preparing for bond issuances worth 100 billion won and 80 billion won, respectively.

Daelim Industrial Co. is also seeking to raise 100 billion won through bond issuance early next month.

"Local firms with relatively good credit ratings are moving to issue corporate bonds in favorable conditions ahead of the U.S. rate hike," an investment industry official said.

Concerns have also mounted that the debt market may be struck by the fallout from the government-led corporate restructuring campaign.

"There will be big repercussions if Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., of which capital has been completely impaired, fails to raise capital by the end of this year and faces de-listing from the stock market," Kim Sang-hoon, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp., said,

Taking such a situation into account, companies are trying to issue bonds in September or October as part of plans to raise capital in the fourth quarter, he added.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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