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Capital Markets

Tepco's bond floats to hit a 10-year high in fiscal 2018

Investors show more interest as the Japanese utility's credit ratings improve

  © Reuters

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings will likely issue more than 400 billion yen ($3.76 billion) in corporate bonds through a subsidiary in the year ending March 2019, marking a 10-year high as upgraded credit ratings make the Tepco group's bond offerings more appealing to investors.

Tepco stopped selling bonds after the March 2011 meltdowns at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It returned to the market in March 2017 and began a full comeback this fiscal year.

Initial plans to issue 330 billion yen in the current fiscal year were revised in late 2017 to 400 billion yen on strong demand. Bond sales appear likely to be stepped up next fiscal year.

Concerns over Tepco's finances are easing. Rating and Investment Information upgraded the utility to BBB+ from BBB on March 22. Government support measures will "help stabilize its business management," R&I said.

Moody's Japan raised the company's rating in May 2017.

Tepco came to depend more on borrowing from financial institutions in the post-Fukushima era. The company is looking to increase bond floats to diversify its sources of funds, as well as to prepare for the coming redemption of maturing corporate bonds.

The 400 billion yen-plus in bonds to be floated in fiscal 2018 will be issued by electricity distribution unit Tepco Power Grid.

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