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Philippine Corp. Eyes Debut Cross-Currency I-Rate Swap

Manila-based San Miguel Corp., a food and beverage company that distributes products such as San Miguel Beer and Coca-Cola, is considering using its first cross-currency interest-rate swap in the Philippines market on a USD80 million dollar portion of a floating-rate loan facility it arranged via J.P. Morgan two weeks ago.

Eleanor Blomdahl, head of the treasury in Manila, said it plans to pay a fixed-rate and receive a floating rate in the swap. She declined to specify target rates. The swap will likely be used to convert USD80 million into pesos by the second quarter of next year, after an expected domestic interest-rate cut of 50 basis points. An official at SMC noted that the swap will likely have a five-year maturity. The company has received formal proposals for the swap from J.P. Morgan, Citibank and a third bank, which Blomdahl declined to name. The counterparty will be chosen based on pricing.

The USD200 million loan will be used to refinance an outstanding USD120 million loan with the remainder being used as working capital. The loan is based on U.S. LIBOR plus a margin and will be tapped next November when the existing loan expires.

Lily Mak, spokeswoman at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong, and Aloysuis Lai, spokesman at Citibank in Hong Kong, did not return calls.

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