Bahrain sovereign bond increased to $1.25bn

23 March 2010

Gulf state receives orders of more than $5bn for bond issue

Bahrain has increased the size of its planned bond issue by 25 per cent to $1.25bn after massive oversubscription in international markets.

The order book for the deal was well more than $5bn, with pricing set at between 200 and 210 basis points over mid-swaps, the middle point between the mid-point of bids and offers on benchmark bonds, bankers close to the matter tell MEED.

The deal is due to close on 24 March and was arranged by France’s BNP Paribas, Germany’s Deutsche Bank and the US’ JPMorgan.

The deal has a 10-year tenor and the roadshow to market it to potential investors ended on 23 March.

The success of the Bahrain deal follows the successful issue of a $650m bond by Banque Saudi Fransi that was priced at 175 basis points over mid-swaps.

“There is very little issuance out of Saudi Arabia so investors jumped on this deal,” one bond trader says. The total order book for the deal was about $3bn.

The Saudi Fransi deal was arranged by the US’ Citigroup, France’s Credit Agricole, and Deutsche Bank.

Earlier in March, National Bank of Abu Dhabi completed a $750m issue that was priced at 178 basis points over mid-swaps, while state-owned Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) delayed plans to access the debt market. The Dewa bond is now expected to go ahead in April.

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