Singapore Air Sells $600 Million Bond at Discount to Peers
Singapore Air Raises Cash on Cheap Thanks to Government Support
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore Airlines Ltd. became the first carrier to tap the debt market for dollars in 2022, raising funds at a discount to peers thanks to its government backing.
The flag carrier sold $600 million of seven-year bonds to yield 3.493%. That’s nearly a percentage point lower than the average yield at issuance for global airline notes sold in 2021, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.
In 2021 Air Canada borrowed for five years at 3.875% while United Airlines Holdings Inc. had a 4.625% yield at issue for 8 years, the data show.
Hard-hit like many of its peers due to the pandemic, the airline has sought to cover expenses by raising S$22.4 billion via a rights offering and by issuing debt. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte is the largest shareholder.
The Singapore government’s decision last year to allow entry of fully-vaccinated people from two dozen countries has given the city state’s travel sector a lift.
Singapore Airlines’s newly issued bonds “could offer value given its support from Temasek and ample liquidity, offset by a slower recovery due to the lack of a domestic market,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sharon Chen.
Though still way below its pre-pandemic level, the number of passengers at Changi Airport rose over the course of 2021. Singapore Airlines recorded a “meaningful increase in traffic,” though the onset of the omicron coronavirus variant led to a temporary suspension of quarantine-free travel.
Singapore Airlines isn’t the only Asian carrier looking to tap funds this week. Korean Air Lines Co. is marketing a Samurai bond, which is guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of Korea, at 0.45%. It is to be priced on Friday.
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