Q3 Bond Issuance Plunges

Corporate bond sales hit lowest level since 2008 as spreads widen.

Corporate bond offerings worldwide plunged in the third quarter to the lowest level since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s 2008 failure as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis caused investors to shun all but the safest securities.

Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest maker of personal computers, and Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker Intel Corp. led borrowers issuing $543.2 billion of bonds in the past three months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Issuance fell 41 percent from the second quarter and 38 percent from a year ago as offerings by financial firms and junk-rated companies largely evaporated.

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