Standard Chartered, which suffered its first annual loss since 1989 last year, has offered to repurchase as much as $2bn of bonds.
Bloomberg News reports that the tender is intended “to provide liquidity to relevant noteholders and to further optimize the group’s capital structure,” the bank said in a statement on Friday. It covers senior and subordinated bonds denominated in dollars, pounds and euros.
The tender includes a premium on about $240m of junior debt, with the bank offering 60 cents for bonds that were trading at about 50 cents. The notes, which the lender last offered to buy in November 2008, have fallen because Standard Chartered’s earnings have been crimped by slower economic growth in key Asian and African markets.
“A year and a half ago we would probably have been buyers of this paper at 60,” said Anthony Smouha, chief executive officer of Atlanticomnium SA, which manages the GAM Star Credit Opportunities fund. “Now, we’re happy to tender.”
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