Korea First Bank, with KRW37.1 trillion (USD32.2 billion) in assets, is planning to enter an interest rate swap on the back of a recent 10-year USD200 million bond. John Shin, assistant manager in the trading and sales department in Seoul, said the bank plans to convert the fixed rate issue into a synthetic floater, likely within three months.
"We're waiting for our target level," said Shin, explaining that the firm is expecting swap rates to fall below the current range of LIBOR plus 280-290bps, declining to elaborate. Shin said the bond, which is callable in five years, will not be converted into won as the proceeds will be used to fund U.S. dollar assets.
KFB is in talks with several of its traditional swap counterparties including BNP Paribas, Credit Lyonnais, JPMorgan, and UBS. "The absolute first criteria is price," said Shin.