Credit Suisse Pays Almost Double Yield Premium on Covered Bonds

Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) is paying almost double the yield premium to issue $2 billion of covered bonds than Switzerland’s second-biggest bank did less than a year ago.

The three-year notes were priced to yield 105 basis points more than the benchmark swap rate, according to a banker involved in the transaction. That compares with a spread of 60 basis points when the Zurich-based lender sold $1 billion of five-year covered bonds in May.

“If you issue in dollars, you have to compete against the Canadian players as well as the Australian and New Zealand ones,” said Leef Dierks, an analyst at Morgan Stanley in London. “And as they have been rather active already, you have to play by their rules.”

Banks issued $8.5 billion of dollar-denominated covered bonds this year, taking the total to $141 billion in all currencies, mostly euros. The notes, backed by mortgages or public-sector loans and guaranteed by the issuer, allow lenders to raise funds more cheaply than in the unsecured debt market.

UBS AG (UBSN) was the last European bank to issue covered bonds in dollars, according to UniCredit SpA data. Switzerland’s biggest bank, also Zurich-based, issued $1.5 billion in three-year covered bonds on Jan. 19, priced to yield 135 basis points more than swaps.

Marc Dosch, spokesman for Credit Suisse, declined to comment citing company policy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Katie Linsell in London at klinsell@bloomberg.net; Esteban Duarte in Madrid at eduarterubia@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at parmstrong10@bloomberg.net

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