Bahrain’s Gulf International Bank (GIB) has decided to delay its first transaction under its newly signed $4bn Euro Medium Term Note programme.
The news follows the announcement on 25 November by the Dubai government that Dubai World and its subsidiary Nakheel will ask for a debt standstill until 30 May. The debt freeze is the first step towards restructuring the real estate giants.
GIB’s decision is the first knock-on effect of the news from Dubai on the banking sector outside the UAE.
“The decision was made in the best interest of investors participating in the deal,” according to a bank statement issued on 26 November.
“GIB’s management would like to thank all the investors who participated in the international roadshow and in the transaction order book. GIB will continue to monitor markets in the future to access funding opportunities.”
The bank had already announced a possible dollar-denominated note issue, which had attracted more than 60 investors.
Separately, Standard & Poor’s reacted to the news by downgrading several ratings on Dubai government firms including DIFC Investments, DP World, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group and Emaar Properties.
“The rating actions are the result of the announcement on 25 November of the restructuring of the debt obligations of Dubai World and its subsidiary Nakheel,” said Standard & Poor’s. “In our view, such a restructuring may be considered a default under our default criteria, and represents the failure of the Dubai government to provide timely financial support to a core government-related entity.”