Apple just raised $3.5 billion (€2.88 billion) via Europe’s bond markets.
But the real benefit Apple got from raising that debt in Europe: a great interest rate.
In a note to clients following Apple’s debt raise, analysts at RBC Capital Markets wrote that Apple’s “borrowing cost on this raise is lower than US government bonds.”
Bond yields reflect, most simply, the risk that investors are being compensated for by lending an entity money. A lower yield implies a lower chance that a company will default or fail to pay back lenders, and a higher yield a higher chance of default.
On eight-year notes issued in Europe, Apple’s bonds will yield 1.082%, while 12-year notes will yield 1.671%.
US 10-year Treasury yields are currently at about 2.35%.
When companies raise debt, it is typically benchmarked off whatever local government bonds are yielding. All around the world government yields are low, but European bond yields are among the lowest in the world (except for Japan).
And so while Apple just launched the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the company is expected to launch Apple Watch next year, the company also finds ways to innovate financially.
RBC also notes that because Apple is a US-based entity, the company will “receive the proceeds in the US and will likely use a swap to convert the euros to [dollars],” which the firms sees as most likely giving Apple no repatriation issues. (When a company repatriates cash from overseas to the US, it pays taxes on it. Usually large ones.)
As Business Insider’s Jay Yarow quipped after news first broke that Apple would raise debt in Europe:
And here’s how German and Swiss 10-years stack up to US 10-years.