CHICAGO, April 19 CoBank, a major nationwide
lender to U.S. agriculture through its role in the Farm Credit
System, said on Friday it issued $200 million in preferred stock
to take advantage of the current market environment.
The stock was issued at a fixed dividend rate for life of
6.125 percent, callable after five years, the bank said.
Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BBB' rating to the $200 million
non-cumulative perpetual preferred issuance.
Denver-based CoBank, with assets of $92 billion, is a
cooperative bank like others in the Farm Credit System, the
government-sponsored enterprise created by Congress in 1916 to
provide a reliable source of credit to develop U.S. agriculture
and rural areas. FCS raises its capital not by taking deposits,
but by issuing securities to the world credit markets.
CoBank is the largest of the FCS regional banks and the only
one which can originate loans in any area throughout the
country. It provides loans, leases, export financing and other
financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and
CoBank earnings rose in the most recent quarter despite
volatile market conditions and financial stresses from the worst
drought to hit U.S. farmers, ranchers and agribusiness since the
Livestock farmers and processors, dairies and ethanol
producers have been among FCS customers that have wrestled with
losses as the costs of major inputs - especially corn - soared
with the drought.
(Reporting by Christine Stebbins, editing by G Crosse)