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IOCs put on show of strength in bond markets

Majors have issued bonds and cut expenditure in equal measure, ensuring a buoyant market for their debt

Recent debt issuance by IOCs could be seen as a muscle-flexing exercise as much as a move to bolster balance sheets. Italy’s Eni became the latest company to approve the issue of bonds on 23 April, worth up to $4.3bn, while revealing a 30pc reduction in capex for 2020 and a 30-35pc cut for 2021. The dividend issue was kicked down the road, with the company saying it would provide an update in July. BP, Spain’s Repsol and Shell had already issued bonds in April, with an RBC research note suggesting BP could spend the next 20 months reducing a debt-to-capital ratio that reached 36pc in the first quarter. ExxonMobil and Chevron have eschewed the debt markets so far this year, although the lat

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