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Global borrowers - Best supranational/agency borrower

European Investment Bank

European Investment Bank (EIB) has always been a big, important issuer. But in recent years its funding needs have swollen to record levels. In 2002 it raised e38 billion - e2 billion of it pre-funding for 2003 - and this year it is expected to issue about e41 billion. Its funding officials have had to step up their efforts to widen their debt's distribution and tap every available source of demand. Over the past year it has probably been the benchmark issuer for its peers.

EIB used to be considered comparatively opportunistic and aggressive on price and timing, but recently it has been concentrating more on transparent investor relations and fair pricing. With its funding needs as big as they are, and with the investors' choice of AAA credits wider than ever, the bank cannot risk alienating investors by issuing at the wrong price. Bankers acknowledge the shift. One originator says: "I remember a few deals in the past being challenging to do because people heard the name EIB and assumed they were about to get ripped off. The EIB has worked very hard to dispel that image lately, and over the past year they've succeeded brilliantly."

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