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Societe Generale Sells First Samurai Bond After Four-Year Delay

Societe Generale SA sold its first Samurai bonds, pricing 70 billion yen ($849 million) of the debt more than four years after the lender registered to offer the securities.

It sold 23.8 billion yen of 0.9 percent two-year notes to yield 60 basis points more than the yen swap rate, 39.7 billion yen of 1 percent three-year bonds at a spread of 70 basis points, and 6.5 billion yen of 1.11 percent Samurais due in five years at a 75 basis-point premium, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

France’s second-largest bank marketed the yen-denominated securities in the Japanese market after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds, easing concern about the region’s debt crisis. Moody’s Investors Service this week cut France’s rating from the top investment grade, citing a worsening economic outlook.

Ai Ogawara, a spokeswoman in Tokyo for Societe Generale, wasn’t immediately able to comment on today’s sale, and on the bank’s previous plans to offer Samurai bonds.

The Paris-based bank filed to sell the notes in September 2008, just before Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. declared bankruptcy. It delayed the offering amid the global financial turmoil, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said at the time. The registration was valid for two years.

Societe Generale posted another filing on June 8, 2011 to sell Samurai debt. It said in the submission that it would set the terms for an offering of three- and five-year fixed-rate notes, as well as five-year floating-rate securities, by the middle of that month.

The issuer then postponed the offering, a person familiar with the matter said 17 months ago, asking not to be identified because the details were private.

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