France Télécom issued a €2.5bn, three-part bond on January 8. The package was divided into a €1bn three-year tranche, a €750m eight-year tranche and a £500m 30-year tranche, and was four times oversubscribed.
While France Télécom was quick to hail the bond’s success, problems soon emerged with the long-dated sterling tranche. Investors say the bond looked expensive when initially priced at 90bp over gilts. After hot money pushed the spread in to 85bp over gilts, buyers flipped the bond and sp