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Millennium reached in 1997

Issuer: Abbey National

Amount: Dm100 million

Maturity: 2 years

Arranged: March 25 1997

It was one of the most hotly contested trades in the MTN market, for one of its most valuable issuers. And it was also a milestone for the Euro-MTN market when a borrower finally executed its 1,000th deal, the first time this has ever happened.

The trade was executed at the end of March, with all of Abbey National's dealer group aware that the "millennium" trade was about to be done, but none being quiet sure who would get it, or where exactly the deal they were offering ranked in Abbey's countdown to 1,000. At Euromoney's inaugural MTN conference in mid-March, Abbey's borrowing supremo Alex Braun gave a hint that the millennium was approaching, at which point some of its dealer group started to get more creative. Braun's deputy, Alisdair McDougall, just back from two weeks of skiing in the US ­ and nicely tanned ­ took charge of the eventual deal.

Abbey, which does between 120 and 150 private MTN trades a year, did trade number 997 with Sumitomo Finance. It was a structured Italian lira private placement with coupon step-ups and embedded call options.

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