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Telefónica convinces the doubters

Issuer: Telefónica Amount: $6 billion equivalent Type of issue: Global bond Date of issue: September 15

In the relatively quiet months of this summer, one nagging worry kept debt capital markets bankers from enjoying their vacations. Will investors be willing to buy the huge volume of bonds that Europe's telecom companies plan to issue in the Final months of 2000?


       

The first big test of that appetite came with Telefónica's $6 billion jumbo offering last month, a deal led by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, followed two weeks later by a $4.38 billion deal from KPN.


High bids for UMTS licences in the UK and Germany, along with the frenetic pace of M&A activity and expansion in the industry, have left the world's biggest telecoms companies with a ravenous appetite for debt. The pipeline of telecom issuance in the fourth quarter, which totals some $40 billion, is dominated by big former monopolies such as British Telecom, which is looking for some $10 billion, and France Télécom, which is in the market for e5 billion-worth of debt.



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