Bankers have successfully wrapped up a string of Gulf syndication deals brought to market ahead of the market’s summer slowdown, with lead arrangers finding a healthy appetite among lenders (MEED 25:6:04).

The largest financial institution facility in the market was a loan to Ahli United Bank, which was signed on 9 July. The three-year loan, priced at 37.5 basis points (bp) over Libor, attracted commitments of $235 million from about 20 banks and the book was closed at $225 million. AUB had been looking for $150 million. The deal was lead arranged by BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Signed two days previously was a $150 million, three-year borrowing for Mashreqbank, lead arranged on a sole basis by Bank of Americaand priced at 40 bp over Libor. Again, more than 20 banks joined the deal at syndication.

On 8 July, Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait (BBK)signed a $125 million facility, increased from $100 million due to a strong response. The loan has a step-up structure, priced at 42.5 bp for the first three years and at 45 bp for years four-five. Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), Barclays Capital, Citigroup, National Bank of Kuwaitand Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporationwere the mandated lead arrangers.

Syndication is ongoing but due to close imminently on a $150 million, five-year borrowing for Burgan Bank, arranged by HSBCand Standard Chartered. It also has a step-up structure, starting at 37.5 bp for the first three years and rising to 45 bp for the final two.

On a smaller scale, an unusual syndicated facility for Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company (BCFC) – which typically meets funding requirements through corporate bond issues – closed at $35 million, raised from $32.5 million, with five banks joining the deal at syndication. Standard Chartered and BBK were the lead arrangers. The four-year facility was priced at 80 bp over Libor.

On the project side, syndication of the $240 million, 13-year borrowing by Oman Polypropylenehas closed with the four mandated lead arrangers, ABC, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), BNP Paribas and HSBC, raising far more than the $100 million they were looking for. Subscription closed at about $200 million and the 10 banks understood to have joined the deal will have their commitments scaled back.

More exotically, Gulf Airhas closed a five-year structured trade finance deal, secured against ticket sales receivables. Lead arranged by Standard Chartered, the deal was priced at 100 bp and was raised in size to $55 million from $50 million.