July 6, 2017 / 7:57 AM / 2 months ago

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Asian credits stay firm in muted markets

SINGAPORE, July 6 (IFR) - Asian credits remained firm in subdued markets in the absence of any clear direction following the release of US Federal Reserve minutes yesterday.

The minutes reflected a split among Fed members on the future pace of US interest-rate hikes.

While Asian shares edged lower with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.1%, Asian credit spreads were flat with the iTraxx Asia investment-grade index at 87bp/89bp.

New bonds put in mixed performances. Hindustan Petroleum's 4% 2027s, which priced yesterday at 167.5bp over US Treasuries, tightened to around mid-range of 163bp.

Shanghai Pudong's two floaters due 2020 and 2022 caught a slower bid as they traded around reoffer levels after pricing at par yesterday.

"There are so many floating-rate notes in the market from Chinese companies that demand may not be that hot right now," said one trader.

"Still, there will be significant demand as people will park their funds in FRNs if they feel rates are increasing."

Fitch's downgrade of CAR Inc to BB- had limited impact today on its bonds, although the curve had started to widen earlier this week.

Fitch is the second rating agency to downgrade CAR, after Moody's moved the credit to Ba2 in March. CAR's 2021s were quoted at a cash price of 103.37, while the 2020s were at 103.2.

Reporting by Kit Yin Boey; editing by Dharsan Singh

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