Bank of Sharjah issues benchmark bond

14 June 2015

Debut international bond oversubscribed

  • Bank of Sharjah issues $500m of bonds on Irish Stock Exchange
  • The oversubscribed bonds had a coupon rate of 3.37 per cent

The UAE’s Bank of Sharjah (BoS) completed a $500m bond issuance on the Irish Stock Exchange on 8 June.

The issuance was oversubscribed twice.

The coupon rate is 3.37 per cent, with the bonds due in June 2020. They are irrecoverably guaranteed by BoS. The bonds were rated BBB+ by London-based Fitch Ratings Agency.

“BoS’s VR [viability rating] reflects the bank’s small franchise, high lending concentrations, weak, but improving asset quality, and some risks over related-party loans and investments, which are common in the region,” said Fitch in its last rating. “The VR also considers BoS’s satisfactory capitalisation and healthy liquidity.”

The bonds were sold to investors in the GCC, Asia and Europe.

This was the first bond the BoS issued on international markets, sold through a vehicle in the Cayman Islands.

The legal adviser was Dentons.

The bookrunners were:

The co-leads were Abu Dhabi’s Union National Bank and Manama-based Arab Banking Corporation.

“The accomplishment of this transaction is testimony to the strong reputation Bank of Sharjah has with foreign financiers [sic],” said Varouj Nerguizian, executive director and general manager at the bank.

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