BNP Paribas announces the launch of a €15 bln. public sector covered bond program (FR)

BNP Paribas has today announced the establishment of a €15 billion public sector covered bond program for BNP Paribas Public Sector SCF. The program will allow the group to raise funding secured on its portfolio of public sector assets through the issuance of obligations foncières, French legislative covered bonds.

Initially backed by sovereign-guaranteed loans from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, the program will be used by BNP Paribas Public Sector SCF to issue both benchmark and private placement bonds allowing for a diversification of its funding sources while optimizing its cost of capital market financing.

BNP Paribas Public Sector SCF (the "Issuer") is a credit institution, licensed as a financial company with the status of société de crédit foncier and incorporated under French law. The Issuer is governed, inter alia, by the provisions of articles L.210-1 et seq. of the French Commercial Code applicable to commercial companies, articles L.511-1 et seq. of the French Monetary and Financial Code applicable to credit institutions and articles L.515-13 et seq. of the French Monetary and Financial Code applicable to sociétés de crédit foncier, and authorised by the French Credit Institution Regulatory Authority (CECEI) and supervised by the French Banking Commission through a specific controller.

"The addition of a public sector covered bond program to our existing capital markets issuance programs will allow investors an ever greater opportunity to purchase securities backed by specific assets originated by BNP Paribas," highlights Michel Eydoux, Head of ALM and Treasury at BNP Paribas. "Investors will now have the option to purchase obligations backed by sovereign and public sector assets. This will complement the existing home loan covered bond program issued through BNP Paribas (Home Loan) Covered Bonds."

BNP Paribas is expected to issue several benchmark obligations foncières each year with the objective of creating a liquid benchmark curve over the coming years. "We are committed to offer investors one of the strongest and most secure public sector covered bond programs available in the market," comments Valerie Brunerie, Head of Medium and Long Term Funding at BNP Paribas. "The solidity of the French legislative framework combined with the security of our public sector collateral pool provides investors a high quality offer for their AAA portfolios."

"This program underscores BNP Paribas' continued commitment to the development of the European covered bond market. As a leading underwriter across all AAA asset classes, we continue to offer issuers and investors our expertise across all related sectors of research, origination, structuring, sales and trading," notes Derry Hubbard, Head of Covered Bond Marketing and Execution at BNP Paribas.

Further structural details of the program will be announced in the coming weeks. A global investor roadshow is also being planned in early spring 2009.

Source: BNP Paribas

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