ISS, the Danish cleaning services company, ensured there was still life in the corporate primary market on Monday, offering its first bond since its debut issue last year. The company said it would sell €500m of fixed-rate bonds with a 10-year maturity at a yield spread of 70 to 75 basis points above the mid-swap rate.

ISS has only one outstanding bond in the market, the 4.75 per cent 2010 debut issue from September last year. The yield spread on that bond widened by 2bp to 61/57bp above Euribor.

The credit market was slightly weaker yesterday and investors often sell existing bonds by the same issuer to participate in new issues, which tend to offer a yield premium.

In addition, buyers will be rewarded for taking four more years of the exposure to the credit. ISS is rated Triple B plus by Standard & Poor's, three levels above speculative grade.

Deutsche Bank, Nordea and SG CIB are managing the sale, which is expected to be completed by today or tomorrow. Proceeds from the transaction would be used to repay existing debt and for general corporate purposes, the company said.

The only other corporate issuer that has stated its intentions of coming to the market with a benchmark euro transaction is Holcim, the Swiss cement producer. The deal is expected this week. Holcim, like ISS, is rated Triple B plus by S&P.

Benchmark size typically means €500m or more. Credit Suisse First Boston, HVB Group and Royal Bank of Scotland are managing the sale.

The City of Rome raised €400m by tapping its 2033 euro bond yesterday, taking the total size of the issue to €1bn. That made it the largest outstanding issue by an Italian regional authority, bankers involved in the sale said.

The eternal city, rated Double A minus by Fitch Ratings and S&P, sold the bonds to yield 8bp above the 5.75 per cent 2033 Italian government bond, 2bp tighter than where the original deal was launched last year, said Fabrizio Ghisellini, the city's chief financial officer. About €300m of the proceeds would be used to redeem bank debt that yielded in excess of 100bp above Euribor, further boosting the city's credit quality, Mr Ghisellini added.

Deutsche Bank, Dexia Capital Markets, JP Morgan and MCC managed the sale.

Cades, the French agency that manages the country's social services debt, is preparing a 15-year bond with payments linked to domestic inflation, excluding tobacco prices.

The Triple A rated group has mandated Barclays Capital and Natexis Banques Popularis to lead-manage the offering.

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