Bawag shelves Tier 2 plans
LONDON, Sept 17 (IFR) - Bawag has put a Tier 2 new issue plan on hold after international investors asked for a bigger premium than the Austrian lender was willing to pay for the trade.
Bawag, which was hit by a series of scandals in the mid-2000s, has not sold any capital deals since the financial crisis. It spent three days on the road the week of September 9.
"Due to the issuer's chequered past and its lack of outstanding paper, we would expect a coupon in the double digits, which Bawag did not agree with," one investor said.
However, David Sperlich, head of capital markets at Bawag said that "our credit update was well received, but we decided not to pursue a transaction in the institutional market at this point in time."
The bank said in its first-half results that its Common Equity Tier 1 ratio had improved by 4.5 percentage points over the last 18 months to 12.3%. It said total surplus liquidity remained solid at EUR6bn, and that it had repaid the EUR2bn it had received under the ECB LTRO in early 2013.
Bawag mandated Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan in early September for an investor roadshow ahead of an expected subordinated bond issue.
"I think they are being very unrealistic about what they can achieve in the market," the investor said.
"They have attempted to sell capital before and similarly backed out when they got feedback from investors."
"It does not look like the pricing will stack up to the regional alternatives," a banker said.
The price banks have to pay for capital remains expensive, especially for those with a sub-investment grade rating for their subordinated debt.
Commerzbank, for example, paid a 8.125% coupon on a USD1bn Ba2/BB+/BB+ (Moody's/S&P/Fitch) rated 10-year bullet Tier 2 last week. The German bank is rated Baa1/A-/A- on a senior level. This is compared to Bawag's Baa2, which incorporates three notches of systemic support from the Austrian state. Its published subordinated rating is Ba3.
It was last in the market in September 2012, selling a EUR500m 1.875% seven-year at mid-swaps plus 55bp. That has performed well in the secondary market and is now bid at mid-swaps plus 30bp. (Reporting by Helene Durand; editing by Philip Wright, Alex Chambers, Marc Carnegie)
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