(Bloomberg) – Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state-controlled oil producer, sought to drum up demand this week for notes due in five and 10 years in its first overseas offering since 2009. As it fielded US$12 billion in bids, the company tacked on a 30-year bond and swelled the sale to US$2.5 billion.
The deal, coinciding with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)’s record-setting offering this week, is Colombia’s biggest ever, signaling renewed demand for the South American country’s debt after the longest drought in almost two years. Ecopetrol’s $1.3 billion of 10-year bonds, the biggest portion of sale, was priced to yield 3.05 percentage points above Treasuries, less than the 3.18 percentage point premium for similar-maturity notes in emerging markets that share its BBB rating.
Borrowers are racing to obtain debt financing while the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented bond buying program keeps borrowing costs down in emerging markets, according to Credit Agricole SA. (ACA) Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA, the capital’s power utility, said it’s seeking to sell bonds overseas soon. Latin American dollar debt issuance has reached $3.7 billion this month, more than the total amount raised in August, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“There was definitely demand for the credit, that’s undeniable,” said Jennifer Stubbert, a fixed-income trader at Credit Agricole’s Miami brokerage unit. “For good-quality credit, I see the demand is there, and it’s seeming like borrowers are all trying to enter through this tiny window at the same time, before it closes.”