Companies borrowing to complete deals and prop up their stock prices are helping to keep U.S. investment-grade debt sales at about a record pace, defying predictions of a slowdown.

Apple Inc. and Leuven, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev NV have led $476.6 billion of offerings this year, almost matching the $477.4 billion sold during the same period in 2013, an unprecedented year for U.S. issuance, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Apple’s $12 billion deal to fund shareholder rewards and AB InBev’s $5.25 billion sale in January to finance its purchase of South Korea’s Oriental Brewery Co. are spurring the second-busiest period ever for debt sales used to fund mergers, acquisitions, dividends and share buybacks.

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