ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Asian credits rangebound, await cues from Europe, US

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 09:00 hrs

SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (IFR) - Asian credit markets made a quiet start to the last week of February, with small gains in the regional stock markets and a dovish Fed keeping credit spreads rangebound and cash bonds just a touch firmer.

"Nothing of significance has gone through today in the secondary credits," said a Singapore-based trader. "Everyone is waiting until the US and European markets open later today for a clearer sense of direction."

Stocks moved higher in Hong Kong and Japan today on the back of gains in the Dow last Friday, although Korean equities were the only underperformers in the region, dropping 0.46%.

The gains had only a small spillover into the credit markets up, with spreads staying flattish. The iTraxx IG Asia traded at 108.25, and hovered around those levels, just slightly tighter than the 108/110bp heard on Friday evening.

The sluggish tone was certainly not the most conducive environment for any new issue to launch but Glorious Property chose to be the only visitor today, showing a 5NC3 Reg S bond at a price talk of 13.25% area. That is some 200bp more than what CIFI Holdings' pulled deal had offered last week.

Despite the new issue, China high-yield space held steady, with a similar story in outstanding Indian FIG paper, which tightened despite potential new supplies.

State Bank of India 2017s were quoted at 222bp/212bp, while ICICI 2018s were quoted at 245/236bp, against 223bp/218bp and 245/250bp, respectively.

The main underperformer in the Indian space continued to be Reliance's perpetuals which stayed stubbornly under its reoffer at par, indicated at 98.25/99 today, which meant the notes slipped further today from Friday's over 99. Not all perps are under water; Petron's perps are still holding strong at 105.5/106.5 today.

In the offshore sovereign space, Philippines curve stayed well supported. Its 6.5% 2020s are at a cash price of 126/127, up from 125.75 last Wednesday, while its 2025s were at 167.

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