Corporate bond volume surges amid rate hike signs

By Bae Hyun-jung
  • Published : Mar 7, 2018 - 18:12
  • Updated : Mar 7, 2018 - 18:13
The amount of corporate bond issuance here took a drastic upturn last month as companies took pre-emptive actions to secure funds ahead of the central bank’s impending key interest rate hike, according to the Korea Financial Investment Association.

The total amount of bonds issued in February stood at 53.31 trillion won ($49.87 billion), up 1.6 trillion won from a month earlier, on the back of corporate bonds and asset-backed securities, data showed Wednesday.

Of the total, the corporate bond sector showed the steepest climb, reaching 9.58 trillion won, up 4.2 trillion won or 78.3 percent from the previous month.

The Bank of Korea is widely expected to inch up the nation’s policy rate from the current 1.5 percent within the first half of the year. The recent reappointment of hawkish Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol is also seen to have moved the timeline forward to as early as April.

Amid mounting belt-tightening gestures, a-list companies with good credit ratings scrambled to issue corporate bonds.

Hite Jinro's manufacturing site in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. (Hite Jinro)

The latest confirming an issuance was liquor manufacturer Hite Jinro which said Tuesday that it will issue 180 billion won in a three-year note.

Daelim Industrial, a leading construction and petrochemical company, is also said to be considering a bond issuance amounting to some 150 billion won within the month.

But due to the Lunar New Year holidays, the monthly trading volume fell by 91.7 trillion won to 319.9 trillion won and foreigners’ trading fell by 1.9 trillion won to 7.8 trillion won, according to data.

By Bae Hyun-jung (