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.
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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