So-called "plastic currency" charged up an impressive final tally last week as investors oversubscribed the Merrill Lynch-led pricing for Visanet. The credit-card deal closed upsized at US$500 million, market sources report. The deal had initially been heard at US$300 million (see ASR 6/30, p. 25).

A 144A with no registration rights, the deal priced at 350 basis points over Treasurys. Maturity was eight-year final/five-year average life. One source noted the placement drew a "good mix of private and public investors." News that Visanet shareholders ABN Amro and Visa International had pulled out in the later stages of the deal's ramp-up apparently did little to erode investor appetite.

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