CORRECTED - UPDATE 1-Fiat to issue benchmark euro bond


(Corrects credit ratings from Moody's and Fitch to Ba2 and BB, respectively, in para 7)

LONDON/MILAN, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Italian industrial group Fiat said on Tuesday it planned to issue a benchmark euro bond to cover general corporate expenses, including the refinancing of debt.

In a brief statement, Fiat did not provide any details of the issue, saying it would decide on them based on market conditions.

An official at one of the banks managing the sale said the bond was expected to have a 10-year maturity, and will be priced after an investor meeting on Wednesday morning. BNP Paribas, Calyon and UBS are managing the sale. The bond will include a change-of-control clause, he said.

Fiat said it would offer the bond to investors outside the United States and apply to have it listed on the Irish exchange.

Last year, Fiat sold two bonds, each for 1.0 billion euros ($1.30 billion). Both of them drew good demand.

Fiat is rated Ba2 by Moody's Investors Service and BB by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, all ratings are two notches below investment grade.

It has targeted a return to investment grade as part of its plan covering the period until 2010.

Fitch analysts have said they could upgrade the group this year if it stuck to its business plans.

(additional reporting by Gabriella Bruschi)



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