<b>Heidelberger Zement's rock-bottom appeal</b>
|Headline: Heidelberger Zement's rock-bottom appeal
Date: March 2000
Author: Michael Peterson
Amount: e1 billion
Type of issue: Corporate bond
Launched: Launched February 7 2000
"A year ago it would have been nearly impossible to sell e1 billion of a triple-B-rated company's bonds," says Matthias Wittenburg, syndicate manager at Dresdner Bank in Germany, referring to Heidelberger Zement's seven-year bond issued early last month. "But this bond generated demand exceeding e2 billion."
Wittenburg might add that a year ago it would have been difficult even to find a German company with a triple-B rating. Most German corporates - if they issued bonds at all - were infrequent borrowers who expected to sell their paper mainly to local investors. And German investors have traditionally cared more for name recognition than credit ratings.
Things are changing fast in euroland. Not only has a mid-size German cement company chosen to fund an acquisition programme in the bond markets, it has done so by targeting international investors with a full roadshow and a credit rating from Moody's and Standard & Poor's.