Occidental Petroleum Corp has sold $1 billion of five-year notes, an increase from an originally planned $750 million sale. The sale is being seen as positive sign that the market for longer-term corporate debt is improving, even while selling short-term commercial paper continues to be tough.

The Los Angeles oil and gas producer's notes are expected to yield 437.5 basis points over U.S. Treasuries, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. The sale took place on Thursday.

Analyst Tony Crescenzi of Miller Tabak & Co. noted that not only Occidental, but also energy utility PG & E; Corp. and Diageo Capital, a unit of the London-based alcohol maker, were able to increase the size of their bond offerings.
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In contrast, Gary Crittenden, Citigroup Inc.'s chief financial officer, said during the bank's earnings call Thursday that the bank pared back its commercial paper to $29 billion from $35 billion.

Occidental shares were up $1.45, or 3 percent, to $47.80 in Friday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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