‘The floating-rate facility will have maturity of five years,’ says a GIC official. ‘It will be used to part-finance the bank’s expansion activities in the GCC and for general purpose funding.’

The proposed bond is part of GIC’s plans to raise medium-term funds from the market to help underpin its new strategy following its divestment of Gulf International Bank in mid 2001 (MEED 19:4:02).

The new strategy, based on recommendations from McKinsey & Company, will entail increasing direct investment in new and existing projects and companies, particularly in the GCC.

GIC has been rated BBB+ and Baa2 respectively by US-based rating agencies Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s Investors Service.