Following announcements that it was increasing its dividend and launching a $60bn share buyback scheme, Apple announced today that it was hoping to raise $17bn by selling corporate bonds. Why does a company with $137bn of cash on its balance sheet want to borrow? The explanation being given by analysts is that $100bn of Apple's cash pile is overseas and it would have to pay a 35% tax on it if it wanted to repatriate it. In addition, borrowing is very cheap at the minute for AAA-rated companies such as Apple. In other words, in order to return cash to shareholders, Apple is going to finance a proportion of it with debt! It seems that Apple is desperate to hold unto its cash pile for a while yet.