A group of four banks has been awarded the mandate to arrange a $150 million term loan for Bank Muscat. They are Gulf International Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Commerzbank and Bankgesellschaft Berlin.

The five-year facility has been priced at 50 basis points (bp) over Libor. ‘This is a pretty good margin, considering this is five-year debt, ‘ says a banker involved.

The facility was launched to co-arrangers on 10 October and a warm reaction is anticipated. ‘There was very aggressive bidding for the mandate on this deal in which about a dozen banks participated, ‘ says the banker.

‘It’s likely that a number of them will want to come in at the co-arranger level.’

When the co-arrangers are in place, the facility will then go to general syndication and this is expected to be completed by midNovember. Bank Muscat has recently received full shareholder approval for its merger with Commercial Bank of Oman (MEED 11:8:00). The deal, which is based on a share swap and equity-to-debt conversion, will be completed on 12 December.