European debt markets have suddenly become more appealing tosome big American corporations again, spurred in part by monetarypolicy changes.

Several American household names have recently crossed the pondto issue debt in Europe. Companies such as Altria Group Inc.,Coca-Cola Co., Ford Motor Credit Co., and International BusinessMachines Corp., among others, together have sold almost 18 billioneuros (US$20.2 billion) in so-called reverse Yankee bonds thisyear.

“We have shifted from what was a buyers' market, to the extentthat there was buying back in December and November, to very muchan issuers' market now,” says Morgan Stanley strategist SrikanthSankaran. He points out that investors who had moved to thesidelines have now re-entered the market, allowing for“surprisingly strong” liquidity in European credit markets.

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