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Best borrowers 2010: BMW banks on its funding strategy

People like to drive its vehicles. They want to buy its bonds. And increasingly, in Germany, they choose to bank with BMW as well.

The automotive industry has been badly hit throughout the economic crisis but one issuer from the sector has risen above the difficulties. BMW remains one of the borrowers of choice in the international bond markets, as the company’s performance in Euromoney’s best issuers poll shows. BMW is the top-rated corporate issuer; perhaps even more impressively, it ranks in the top five overall for all global borrowers. That performance is attributable more to hard work from the company’s funding and investor relations team than because of the lure of its marque.

As Norbert Mayer, BMW’s head of corporate finance, explains: "One of our strengths has always been the trust we have with investors. But we’ve built on that over the past couple of years."

Since the onset of economic turmoil, BMW has redoubled efforts to communicate directly with its bond investors. The group treasurer takes part in regular one-on-one meetings; the company’s chief financial officer now makes audiences with fixed-income investors a core part of results roadshows.