Borrowers: Euromoney's best borrowers of 1997
The European Investment Bank, Euromoney's borrower of the year, is snapping at the World Bank's heels with careful timing and improved investor relations. Russia, best debut borrower, excited the market with its $1 billion and Dm2 billion opening salvos. While the experienced team in Buenos Aires makes Argentina our top emerging market borrower a few lines.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) appears to be pulling off a remarkable trick. By most borrowers' standards it comes to the markets too often. And one might think investors would be full up with its name, to the point that it has to pay higher spreads. But not so. "In many ways, the EIB defies gravity," says Paul Avery, coverage officer at BZW. "The acid test is the positive reaction on the trading-floor to a new issue from the EIB The salespeople are excited by its name still."
The EIB is borrowing more than ever before in international capital markets. It far outstrips any issuer in the volume of its annual fund-raising and in the number of separate transactions it executes. In public markets in 1996, it raised $23 billion from 109 issues, compared with $14.4 billion in 74 deals for the World Bank. But far from paying an ever higher price to raise such huge sums, the terms on which the EIB borrows are improving in comparison with its peers, according to capital markets consultancy firm, Mooyaart Consult.