Kommunalbanken, a Norwegian local government funding agency, has entered an interest rate swap on a recent NOK400 million (USD55.35 million) bond offering to convert it into a floating-rate liability. Thomas Moller, finance director in Oslo, said the agency converts all of its fixed-rate issuance into floating-rate and then enters additional swaps to convert it back into fixed if its liability portfolio contains fixed rate loans. Kommunalbanken plans to raise an additional USD2.5 billion in the bond market this year.
In the swap, Kommunalbanken pays three-month NIBOR minus a spread and receives the bond's 5% coupon. Three-month NIBOR was 5.45% Tuesday. Deutsche Bank is the counterparty on the swap and was also the lead manager on the bond, noted Moller. The agency chose the German bank because it has wide distribution to retail investors, Moller said.
Kommunalbanken prefers its derivatives counterparties to be AA rated, but will enter swaps with firms with lower ratings if it has a collateral support annex in place, explained Moller.