Bahrain Middle East Bank (BMB) has launched its latest US debt investment vehicle, raising more than $360 million from global investors via a commercial paper issue by a new subsidiary, Pegasus Three. The proceeds of the issue are to be used to buy short-dated US bonds.
'Pegasus has issued over $360 million in commercial paper and securities to Middle East, European and US financial institutions, insurance companies and other investors,' BMB said in a statement issued on 3 March. It added that the size of the issue was raised by 50 per cent from an initial $240 million and was still oversubscribed. 'The proceeds...will be used to purchase high-quality, short-duration government, corporate, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities.'
US fund manager Alliance Capital Management, which helped to structure the deal, will manage the US bond portfolio. Pegasus is the second vehicle created by BMB to invest in the US bond market, as the Bahrain-based investment bank carves out a specialised niche for itself in the Gulf industry. BMB's chief executive Albert Kittaneh said last month that the bank would be raising $7 million-10 million in equity for Pegasus, of which it would hold about half. The rest would be sold to Gulf investors, he said (MEED 14:2:97).
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