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SK Telecom raises $318m in Swiss franc-denominated bonds

SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile carrier, has successfully raised funds in the Swiss bond market, despite Europe’s economic woes.

The company said that it issued Swiss franc-denominated bonds worth CHF 300 million ($318 million), with an annual interest rate of 1.75 percent at a maturity of 5 years.

The fund-raising was part of plans to seek low-cost capital sources and repay its debt, it said. The company’s outstanding debt stood at 11.6 trillion won at the end of 2011, according to financial statements.

This marks the first time for any Korean company to issue such a large amount of fixed-income securities at a relatively low yield in the Swiss bond market through a non-deal roadshow, the telecom operator noted.

In this regard, SK Telecom hopes to pave the way for other Korean companies to seek fundraising in overseas bond market such as Switzerland where global investors generally have a positive view on Korean businesses, it added.

The Swiss bond market is relatively stable with investors generally being conservative, compared with other capital markets in Europe. Thus, only overseas state-run enterprises and blue chip companies have sought to raise capital in the Swiss market.

By Park Hyong-ki (