U.S. companies from Cargill Inc. to Procter & Gamble Co. are selling bonds in Europe at the fastest pace since 2008 as they tap investor appetite for securities from borrowers outside the crisis-damaged euro region.

Euro-denominated offerings from American companies including Cincinnati-based P&G's first deal in the currency since 2007 pushed sales to $5.7 billion last month, the busiest August in four years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The surge brings this year's total to $14.5 billion, the most for the period since 2010 and matching the amount for all of 2011.

Debt of U.S. companies offers shelter from Europe's crisis while at the same time paying a return as the continent's safest government bond yields turn negative. The securities are becoming even more attractive amid speculation policymakers at the European Central Bank will seek to water down measures aimed at easing the turmoil when they meet this week.

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