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Aspial issuing retail bonds to raise up to S$75m

Singapore-listed Aspial Corporation, whose diverse business portfolio spans real estate, jewellery and financial services, is issuing retail bonds for the first time to raise up to S$75 million.

The offering comprises a public tranche of up to S$50 million to the Singapore public and a placement tranche of up to S$25 million to institutional and other investors outside the US. It could be expanded to up to S$150 million in the event of over-subscription.

These five-year bonds due in 2020 come with fixed interest of 5.25 per cent per annum, payable semi-annually in arrear, according to the bond offer document lodged with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

"This marks yet another milestone for Aspial as we widen our sources of fund-raising by tapping into the bond market to access an entirely new investor base," said Aspial's CEO, Koh Wee Seng.

"The bond offering is accessible by institutions, private banking investors and the general public, raising the group's profile in the investment community and allowing investors to own a stake in a well-known household name," he added.

Aspial said it plans to use the net proceeds from the offer for general corporate funding purposes, working capital and capital expenditure requirements, and investments.

Also giving an update on its proposed listing of its real estate business on the Catalist, Aspial said that SGX has advised that it has no objection to the proposed spin-off, subject to Aspial complying with the SGX listing requirements.

The group is proposing to undertake a spin-off of its real estate business in Australia and Malaysia to be listed on the Catalist.

It had said in its 2014 annual report that it is switching its strategic focus to the overseas markets of Australia and Malaysia this year in light of the soft property market in Singapore.