A Canadian energy firm became the world's first nonfinancial issuer to sell debt linked to the main LIBOR alternative, a boost for policymakers in their struggle to encourage market adoption of the new financial benchmark.

Enbridge Inc., which operates oil and gas pipelines as well as other energy infrastructure, sold floating-rate notes on Tuesday pegged to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR, a U.S. replacement for LIBOR. Analysts predict more companies may now follow suit as regulators continue their multiyear battle to phase out the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) following global manipulation scandals.

LIBOR remains entrenched in the financial system, even as key tenors are likely to retire at year-end. Only a fraction of the $200 trillion derivatives market has moved over to SOFR, making it harder to build a forward-looking term structure.

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