Bahrain Middle East Bank (BMB) signed a syndicated term loan facility on 29 June for $75 million. The loan was arranged by Arab Banking Corporation, The Arab Investment Company and Chase Investment Bank. A total of 24 institutions signed up for the loan, comprising nine participants from Europe and the US and 15 Arab banks. The facility has a three-year maturity and is priced at 87.5 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor).
BMB had originally planned to borrow $30 million. However, the amount was increased following strong demand, BMB general manager Albert Kittaneh says. The loan attracted subscriptions of $101.5 million.
BMB took out the loan in order to match the maturities of assets and liabilities, Kittaneh says. The facility will be used for general funding purposes, most particularly for financing medium-term activities. These include unquoted equity investments and collateralised bond programmes. The bank recently launched the Oasis CBO (collateralised bond obligation), which sold $495 million worth of securities and issued a further $85 million in equity (MEED 6:6:97).