Good appetite for FI syndications

24 May 2002

Two term loans for Gulf-based financial institutions (FIs) are progressing smoothly. Syndication of a $250 million facility for Dammam-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp)has been oversubscribed and banks are awaiting the launch of a $300 million facility for Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation (ABC).

'Appetite for the Apicorp borrowing has been very good: they could easily have taken more than $300 million out of the market,' says a banker involved in the transaction. 'The region continues to be very liquid and this has been an easy deal.'

The five-year Apicorp deal has a margin of 45 basis points (bp) over Libor with front-end fees set at 55 bp. The lead arranging group comprises Credit Agricole Indosuez(global facility agent), Gulf International Bankand HSBC Investment Bank(joint bookrunners), Riyad Bank(signing ceremony co-ordinator), and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation(documentation bank - MEED 12:4:02).

In mid May, ABC awarded a lead arranging mandate for its borrowing to a five-strong bank group made up of BNP Paribasand HSBC Investment Bank (both international bookrunners), National Bank of Kuwait (International - regional bookrunner), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (facility agent & documentation), National Bank of Abu Dhabi(information memorandum) and ING(signing agent).

ABC is seeking to raise a $300 million, five-year borrowing with a margin of 45 bp over Libor. 'If there's strong appetite the facility could be upsized,' says a banker close to the deal. 'The deal is about to be launched to lead arrangers - who will be offered $15 million take-and-hold tickets with fees of 40 bp. This phase should close on 5 June at which point the deal will go to general syndication.'

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