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Oxford University to Raise Almost $1 Billion, Due 100 Years From Now

Neil Denslow

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University of Oxford, which traces its roots back to the 11th century, is selling sterling bonds maturing in 2117, as pound investors seek out names likely to ride out Brexit risks.

The oldest university in the English-speaking world set an initial price target of about 110 basis points above the government-bond rate, as it taps a 750 million-pound ($976 million) bond first issued in late 2017, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it. Moody’s Investors Service rates the note Aaa, its highest grade.

The yield on the 2.544% Oxford bond has dropped to 2%, partly because the University’s global reputation and a weaker pound may help it attract international students amid potential Brexit upheavals. Marketwide high-grade sterling bonds yields have also fallen to the lowest since early September, aided by rising expectations for a possible Bank of England interest-rate cut.

Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state has already syndicated a new 2120 euro bond this year, amid a heightened early-January rush of deals in Europe’s primary bond market.

(Updates with sale starting in first, second paragraphs)

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Denslow in London at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Hannah Benjamin at hbenjamin1@bloomberg.net, V. Ramakrishnan

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