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Apple's Debt Buy Is 'Smart': Blackstone's Schwarzman

Tuesday, 30 Apr 2013 | 5:02 PM ET
Blackstone CEO on Hiring Our Heroes
Tuesday, 30 Apr 2013 | 2:03 PM ET
President Obama is joined by business leaders at the White House today to discuss hiring our heroes coming home from war. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, shares his commitment to veterans.

Apple's record $17 billion bond issuance is "bold and innovative" and a "smart thing" to do, Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman said, adding that other companies may do well to follow suit.

"Apple of course has huge amounts of cash, but by the same token the cost of borrowing now is so unbelievably low that issuing long-term bonds ... is actually a very smart thing," he told CNBC's "Street Signs."

"I think other companies should think about something similar," he said, adding, "We did. We issued 30-year bonds—the first financial since the crisis to do that."

(Read More: Apple Bonds: 'Market Is Going to Be All Over It')

Schwarzman was speaking from outside the White House, where he'd unveiled Blackstone's plan to have 50,000 U.S. military vets hired over the next five years at the private equity group's portfolio companies, which together employ some 730,000, he said.

Regarding the broader economy, Schwarzman said foreign interest in investing in the U.S. suggests that Americans may not fully appreciate what's in front of their noses.

"Foreign investors are really very biased toward the U.S. now, largely because of the major change in the energy complex," Schwarzman said. "If the U.S. is going to be energy self-sufficient, which we probably are ... then this is a sea change and makes the U.S. an extremely interesting and important place to be investing. And it should increase over time our growth rates and our ability to hire people."

(Read More: US Is on Fast-Track to Energy Independence: Study)

He added: "People outside the United States seem to understand that in a more profound way than all of us do living here."

Schwarzman said he doesn't see a bubble in the housing market and that, with 20-percent downpayment requirements to buy a home in many places, people who would like to buy houses often find them out of their financial reach.

(Read More: Boost in Home Prices Doesn't Equal Bubble)

Noting that Blackstone is now the largest owner of individual homes in the U.S., he said, "We're renting those houses to people who really can't be in them in other ways. So I expect that housing prices will continue to go up and it's not really a bubble."

In China, he added, government policies are helping to bring the real-estate situation there under control. "Their housing prices have come down a lot already, and that bubble is on its way to being deflated," he said.

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