National Bank of Abu Dhabi considers bond sale

06 October 2016

Lender is looking at selling benchmark-sized conventional bond

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the biggest lender in the emirate by assets, is considering options to issue a conventional bond of at least benchmark size.

NBAD has already appointed banks to arrange the sale of the debt instrument and is in the process of organising an investor roadshow, news agency Reuters cited sources as saying. The report did not name the banks hired to arrange the transaction. A benchmark-sized deal is commonly refers to at least $500m.

NBAD did not provide an immediate comment to the report.

The plan to launch a conventional bond follows the indefinite postponement of a planned “green bond” by NBAD last month, the proceeds of which were to be invested in renewable energy projects.

Investors at the time were unsure how to price the bond, given that NBAD is in the process of merging with rival First Gulf Bank (FGB) and it could be relaunched. The merger recommended by the boards of both lenders will create the largest banks by assets in the Middle East and Africa region.

Green bonds have become an increasingly popular source of borrowing for Asian banks. Several other lenders from emerging markets have issued green bonds in recent months, including Bank of China, which sold a $3bn, multi-currency green bond in July, while in May India’s Axis Bank sold a $500m, five-year green bond.

NBAD earlier this year said it plans to lend $10bn in the next 10 years to the energy sector. The funding will be channelled into renewables schemes focused on environmentally sustainable activities.

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