Pecom Energia Places US$33mn Debentures

Argentine energy company Pecom Energia has placed US$33mn in one-year debentures denominated in US dollars and Argentine pesos, the company announced. Pecom, which had planned to issue up to US$34mn, is satisfied with the level of subscription, a Pecom source told BNamericas. The bonds were issued in two series: the US$29.2mn dollar-denominated series O pays 7.5% annual interest, while the US$3.6mn peso or dollar denominated series P pays 8.5% annual interest. The issue was managed by Dutch bank ABN Amro. The dollar-denominated series O was more heavily subscribed as "people prefer to have the guarantee that their bonds will be paid in dollars because they don't have much faith in the evolution of the country," the source said. Although the amount of the issue is small, the offer is significant because it is the first time since the devaluation of the peso in early 2002 that the company has offered bonds on the local market. It is also Pecom Energia's first bond issue since its parent company Perez Companc was bought out by Brazil's state owned oil company Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) in October 2002. The funds generated will be used as a refinancing instrument to pay part of a US$35mn bond payment due on March 21, the source said.

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