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Mere investment grade not good enough now

Bond market getting more discriminating amid fear of low growth

RISING COSTS: Among firms that had to pay up is Hewlett-Packard. The Baa2 rated PC maker sold US$14.6b of bonds on Sept 30 that yielded half a point more than the average for similar bonds in secondary market.

New York

NEWLY armed with an investment grade rating and looking to tap debt markets for the first time, the chief financial officer of retailer Fossil Group didn't like what he saw this past May.

"We didn't think the economics reflected our investment grade rating," Dennis Secor