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BNG: on the flight route to quality

Sovereign borrowers

Bart van Dooren, head of capital markets at Dutch public sector agency Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG), says that 2002 was a good environment in which to be a AAA issuer. "With the flight to quality it hasn't been hard to attract investors' attention and get funding on board. Getting good all-in levels has been a different ball game, though," he says.

Bankers praise how he has gone about doing this, though. Berman, at UBS Warburg, says: "BNG have done a fantastic job in 2002 - they are extremely transparent with the market, and their 10-year euro benchmark was one of the highlights of the year. Their emphasis in 2003 will probably be on globals and building up their international investor base - I think we'll see them in dollars a lot this year."

Like many other issuers, BNG has been devoting increasing attention to marketing its credit in Asia. When Euromoney spoke to him, van Dooren was preparing to travel to Asia again to meet more than 80 investors and update them on developments in the Netherlands and the wider eurozone.

"Asian demand has been more and more important, particularly over the last five months or so," he says.

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