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Fonterra announces Hong Kong bond issue

Friday 17th June 2011

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Dairy co-operative Fonterra will seek to raise $56 million through a bond issue on the Hong Kong yuan market to expand its Chinese operations, the company announced today.

It said it was the first Australasian company to issue debt denominated in renminbi, Chinese yuan deliverable in Hong Kong (CNH).

The decision to enter the CNH bond market reflected the growing importance of China to Fonterra's business operations, said the company's treasury general manager Stephan Deschamps.

Fonterra already has debt denominated in US dollars, NZ dollars, euro, sterling and Japanese yen and the Hong Kong bond issue represented a further diversification in Fonterra's treasury strategy, he said.

Fonterra's China president Philip Turner said the funds would be used to support the growth of the company's China business, based in Shanghai.

The Chinese dairy market was on track to triple in value from around US$22 (NZ$27) billion in 2009 to US$70 billion by 2020, he said.

Fonterra would expand marketing, advertising and distribution of its consumer brands from seven cities to more than 15 cities over the next three years.

Fonterra is also developing its farm business in China.

HSBC is the sole bookrunner and sole lead manager for the bond issue.



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