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Rabobank Sells Biggest Structured Note Since 2011 as ECB Eases

Rabobank Groep sold its largest structured notes in more than three years as unprecedented measures by the European Central Bank boosted bullish bets on the region’s equities.

The Utrecht, Netherlands-based lender issued Australian-dollar securities linked to the Euro Stoxx 50 Index last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The notes were structured at the request of clients, said Ger Buls, head of long-term funding for the Asia-Pacific region at the bank.

Rabobank sold three separate A$100 million ($94 million) notes, with each security constituting the most for any structured product since March 2011, the data show. The bonds were sold June 13, 26 and 30, after the ECB cut its deposit rate to minus 0.1 percent and offered conditional loans to banks on June 5 to steer an economy under threat of deflation.

“With the ECB affirming commitment to support the European region through additional stimulus, along with hinting at other actions, this has given investors an opportunity to re-weight to the region,” Tim Schroeders, a portfolio manager who helps oversee $1 billion in equities at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne, said in an e-mail. “These events are occurring along with concerns easing for the global economy,” he said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. underwrote A$200 million of the notes and the rest were arranged by Citigroup Inc., the data show.

The Euro Stoxx 50 has gained 4.61 percent this year to close at 3,252.25 yesterday. The index’s advances in 2012 and 2013 marked the longest stretch of annual increases since 2007.

“Some investors are indeed more bullish on equities, and more specifically on European equities,” Hong Kong-based Buls said in an e-mail.

The notes pay a 9 percent annualized coupon should the benchmark stock measure rise above a certain level, and nothing otherwise, the data show. The information on the level of the index isn’t publicly available.

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