(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG sold $5 billion of bonds, the first benchmark offering since its bank unit pleaded guilty to helping Americans cheat on their taxes.
The Zurich-based bank issued $1.75 billion of three-year, 1.375% securities that yielded 60 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The spread was two basis points above where similarly rated Deutsche Bank AG sold $1.4 billion of three-year, 1.35% notes today.
The similar yields show that Credit Suisse isnt being punished in the bond market even after Moodys Investors Service downgraded its outlook. The ratings company changed the banks outlook to negative from stable after Credit Suisse AG agreed to pay $2.6 billion in penalties after pleading guilty in the U.S. tax-probe settlement on May 19, citing the potential for client defections and lost revenues resulting from the criminal plea.
Credit Suisses $2 billion of 3.5% notes due 2015 have decreased 0.1 cent to 102.5 cents on the dollar since the settlement was announced, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Standard & Poors ranks Credit Suisse A- and Deutsche Bank one grade higher at A.
Simon Adamson, a London-based analyst at CreditSights Inc., wrote in a May 20 note that while the fines are manageable, the financial impact should not be understated. The fine will reduce Credit Suisses common equity ratio, a key measure of financial strength, to 9.3% from 10%, Adamson said. Thats the lowest among 16 global investment banks tracked by Bloomberg Industries.
Credit Suisse also sold $2 billion in five-year, 2.3% notes that yielded 80 basis points more than government securities, and $1.25 billion of three-year, floating-rate securities at 49 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, Bloomberg data show. The bonds will be used for general corporate purposes.
Investor demand was very strong, both in terms of size of the order book and number of investors involved, Tommy Mercein, global head of debt capital markets at Credit Suisse, said in a telephone interview.
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