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UPDATE 1-Maersk hires banks for possible bond issue

COPENHAGEN, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Danish shipping and oil group A.P.

Moller-Maersk is considering a new offering of bonds and has engaged banks to advise it. Investor relations chief Henrik Lund said on Friday the group had hired Barclays, BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland to advise it . Spokesman Michael Storgaard said the group had made no decision on whether to proceed with a sale. "We are having a series of meetings with investors to explore a possible bond issue, which is nothing extraordinary," he said. A.P. Moller-Maersk, which owns the world's biggest container shipping company Maersk Line, entered the corporate bond market for the first time last year with a 750 million euro ($1.0 billion) issue followed by a 4 billion Norwegian crown ($670 million) issue. It has repeatedly said it aimed to diversify its sources of funding and bonds would gradually play a larger role in its financing, replacing conventional bank debt. A.P. Moller-Maersk said in its first-half report on Wednesday its net interest-bearing debt fell $4.4 billion to $13.7 billion in the nine months to end-September. (Reporting by Peter Leving; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.7332 euro = 5.969 Norwegian crowns) Keywords: MAERSK/ (Copenhagen Newsroom, +45 3396 9655, copenhagen.newsroom@reuters.com) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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