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Carnival Bonds Decline After Costa Concordia Sinks Off Italy

Bonds of Carnival Corp., the owner of the liner that sank off the Italian coast killing at least six people, fell today.

The relative yield on the Miami-based company’s 750 million euros ($950 million) of 4.25 percent bonds due in 2013 increased 54 basis points to 336 basis points more than similar-maturity government debt, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The spread, which is the widest since September 2009, has averaged 203 basis points for the past 12 months.

Pier Luigi Foschi, the chairman of the company’s Genoa-based Costa Crociere SpA unit, blamed the accident on human error. The Costa Concordia was carrying 4,000 passengers and crew when it went aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio in a wreck that may cost insurers more than $500 million.

Carnival is likely to retain its BBB+ grade, the third-lowest investment-grade ranking, Standard & Poor’s said in a note published yesterday. The New York-based firm, which was already expecting “minimal growth” in revenue, is allowing for a 3 percent loss of revenue in the industry as people may cancel bookings, according to S&P analyst Emile Courtney.

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