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Petronas gets away Asia ex-Japan’s biggest ever issue

Issuer: Petronas Capital Limited Amount: $2.675 billion Launched: May 14 2002 Bookrunners: Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Barclays Capital, HSBC

Petronas, the state-owned Malaysian oil multinational, has returned to the market for the first time since 1999 with a record-breaking three-tranche debt offering that totalled $2.675 billion.

The combined size of the Baa1-rated deal, launched in New York, makes it the largest ever bond issue by an Asian corporate outside of Japan, narrowly eclipsing Singapore Telecom's $2.3 billion issue of November 2001. The offering included a $1.3 billion 10-year tranche, a $750 million 20-year tranche, and a e750 million ($684.6 million) seven-year tranche - the largest ever euro-denominated offering by an Asian issuer. The Petronas issue accounts for more than half of the $4 billion of debt raised by Asian companies outside of Japan in the first quarter of this year.

Morgan Stanley was a joint bookrunner for all three tranches and the global coordinator for both dollar tranches. Barclays Capital and HSBC were joint bookrunners for the euro portion and Citigroup was a joint bookrunner for the dollar portions.

The company had initially intended to come to market with a much smaller $1.46 billion deal comprising a $1 billion 10-year tranche and a e500 million seven-year tranche. It eventually decided to increase the issue and introduce the 20-year tranche to take advantage of strong investor demand.

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