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Amazon issues bonds to get cash for investments

Wants to buy its own offices
Tue Nov 27 2012, 13:16
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ONLINE RETAILER Amazon has issued its first bonds in nearly 15 years as it looks to borrow money while interest rates are low.

Amazon's position as the undisputed king of online retail has put the company in a good position to take advantage of cheap borrowing rates. Amazon issued three, five and 10-year bonds at 0.38, 0.63 and 0.93 percent above US Treasury rates with investors clamouring to get a ride on the firm's coattails.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon's $3bn bond issue has attracted more than $10bn in investor interest. According to ratings agency Moody's, the firm will use the cash generated in the bond sale to make investments such as buying its corporate headquarters.

Standard and Poor's rated Amazon's debt as AA- and said there was minimal financial risk with Amazon. While Moody's rated the bonds at Baa1, the agency also forecast strong growth in sales for Amazon in the coming years. It seems that Amazon, given that it hasn't got any other bonds, is proving popular with bond investors despite reporting low profits and recently having been grilled in the UK Parliament over allegations of tax avoidance.

Amazon has been diversifying the ways it generates cash, and while it long ago moved away from simply selling books, the firm is a big player in cloud services through its Amazon Web Services division and is aggressively marketing its own brand of electronics devices in the Kindle range of ebook readers and tablets. µ


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