National Bank of Abu Dhabi prices bond issue

18 March 2010

Deal is first of many bond issues planned in the region for the next few months

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has offered pricing on its upcoming bond deal of between 180 and 190 basis points above mid-swaps.

The mid-swap rate is the mid-point of bids and offers on similar bonds. NBAD could raise up to $1bn in the bond issue, which is being arranged by US’ Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, the UK’s HSBC, and Barclays Capital; and NBAD itself. The minimum size NBAD wants is $500m.

The bond includes a change of control clause, which enables investors to be repaid if the Abu Dhabi government or the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) lowers its holding in the bank to below 50 per cent. ADIC currently holds 70.48 per cent of the bank.

Activity in the Gulf bond market has been slow so far this year, with only Saudi real estate developer Dar al-Arkan having completed a $450m issue.

But bond traders say there is a strong pipeline of new issuance building. Bahrain is planning a sovereign bond issue of up to $1bn, there are also expectations that Banque Saudi Fransi and Gulf Investment Bank are planning bond issues.

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