Qatar mandates banks for potential bond issuance

18 May 2016

The gas-rich gulf state is scheduled to start investor meetings from 19 May

Qatar has mandated a group of local regional and international financial institutions for a potential US dollar bond issue.

Doha is working with HSBC, JP Morgan, MUFG and QNB Capital as global coordinators on the potential deal, according to news agency Reuters which cited information to one of the lead managers on the transaction.

The four banks are joined on the books by Al-Khaliji, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho Securities and SMBC Nikko.

Qatar is scheduled to meet fixed income investor in Asia, Europe and the US, from 19 May, which could be follow by a benchmark 144A/Reg S transaction. A benchmark deal is usually referred to as bond issuance of $500m or more.

Qatar, which is rated Aa2/AA/AA, last tapped the debt market in December when it raised $5.5bn through a five year syndicated loan. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Qatar National Bank, helped the world’s top liquefied gas exporters to raise funds, according to the news agency.

Gulf states, which rely heavily on sale of hydrocarbons for revenues, are increasingly looking to tap the global debt markets to bridge the budgetary gaps they are facing on the back of lower oil prices. Riyadh in April agreed terms with a group of international lenders for a $10bn loan, its first sovereign debt in at least 15 years.

Abu Dhabi’s, the biggest emirate in the UAE launched a two-part $5bn bond at the tight end of price guidance. The emirate launched a $2.5bn five-year bond at 85bp over US treasuries, at the lower end of guided rate of 85bp-90bp, and a $2.5bn 10-year at 125bp over treasuries, compared to guidance of 125bp-130bp. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and JP Morgan are the lead managers on the deal.

Oman has plans to borrow $5-10bn this year, and it is considering a Eurobond in the first half of this year while Kuwait is another Gulf country which has indicated tapping capital markets to raise funds.

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