The summer lull has passed and a number of Gulf financial institutions are back in the syndicated loans market. At least four banks are in the process of taking facilities, and one has been signed.

Leading the way is Bahrain International Bank (BIB), which is seeking an $80 million, three-year loan. Arab Banking Corporation, DG Bank, Gulf International Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi are the mandated arrangers. The facility, priced at 75 basis points over Libor, is in syndication, and this is expected to close in mid-October.

Bankers say two tiers are being offered: $7.5 million slices to arrangers, and $5 million slices to co-arrangers. BIB tapped the market last September for $60 million (MEED 17:9:00).

Regional and international bankers are eagerly awaiting a decision from Bank Muscat over its plans to raise $150 million from the syndications market. ‘A number of proposals have gone in and a mandate is expected to be awarded before the end of September, ‘ says a banker involved.

‘They’ve got an embarrassment of riches in the strength of the response from the market.’ Interest in the facility has been strengthened by the proposal that the facility will have a five-year tenor.

Oman Development Bank is also preparing to issue a mandate to arrange its forthcoming borrowing. Bankers say it is likely to approach the market for about $50 million.

National Bank of Kuwait was awarded the sole mandate for a $50 million facility for Industrial Bank of Kuwait. The deal has been organised on a club basis and it is understood that 12 institutions have participated in the transaction.

The $250 million, three-year facility for Commercial Bank of Kuwait was signed on 22 September. The size of the facility was increased from $200 million in response to strong interest from regional and European banks at the co-arranger stage and during general syndication, bankers say (MEED 1:9:00).