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Auckland Council to issue Euro bonds

Auckland Council will go offshore for funding with a US$2.5bn Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme arranged by HSBC.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

EMTNs have maturities of less than five years and are issued continuously to the market.  Auckland Council has applied to list its EMTN on the Singapore exchange.

The council to become the first local authority in New Zealand to access foreign currency markets to meet its borrowing needs.  

This move was made possible following a recent law change, whereas previously local authorities were only able to borrow money domestically limiting the investors who could participate in bond issues.

"The successful launch of this facility is a core part of council's strategy to diversify its funding sources and lengthen the term of its borrowing," Auckland Council's chief financial officer Andrew McKenzie said.

"In going overseas, we will achieve both objectives and leverage off our position as one of the best rated institutions in the country. Auckland Council intends to fully hedge any currency exposure related to the borrowing.

"Auckland Council is committed to investing in the transformative projects that will benefit all Aucklanders for generations to come. To do so, we are looking at diversifying our sources of funding to secure the best rates for the people of Auckland region."

HSBC New Zealand chief executive Noel McNamara said, "The ground breaking programme will see the Council lead the way for Local Authorities to borrow funds offshore.  

"It also clearly highlights the advantages that borrowing in a currency other than New Zealand dollars can provide and ensures the Council has the widest range of investors open to it to meet its funding needs."

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