Europe hits back: Engie and Unilever issue big bonds to investors at home

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By Jon Hay
20 Mar 2020

Europe’s corporate bond new issue market burst back into life on Friday after a nine day coma with two emphatic, big, generously priced deals from impeccable issuers — exactly the pattern of issuance, although on a smaller scale, that the US market has produced on three days this week. Engie and Unilever raised €4.5bn between them, most of it from investors working at home amid coronavirus quarantines.

Unilever’s deal was not crisis funding, said Johanna Hyttinen, vice-president of international funding and bank relations at Unilever in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. “We are in quite a good position, funding-wise, but with the growing market volatility, it led us to take the view that if there was a good, ...

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