RasGas III bond priced

19 August 2005
The bond issue for the local/US Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II (RasGas II), to fund the integrated RasGas III project, was priced in early August. Goldman Sachsand Lehman Brotherswere the lead managers; Royal Bank of Scotlandacted as financial adviser (MEED 29:7:05).

The 'medium bond', which has a tenor of 15 years, ended up being worth $1,400 million and was priced at 97 basis points (bp) over US treasuries with a coupon of 5.3 per cent, while the $850 million, 22-year 'long bond' was priced at 130 bp with a 5.84 per cent coupon. The co-managers were ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Qatar National Bank and RBS. The 15-year bank tranche of the financing package, which was concluded in late July and raised about $1,600 million, has been correspondingly scaled back to $970 million. There were 19 mandated lead arrangers (MEED 29:7:05).

The majority of subscription to the bond issue is understood to have come from US investors. The bank portion has a step-up pricing structure rising to 65 bp from 45 bp. RasGas II is a 70:30 joint venture of Qatar Petroleum (QP)and the US' ExxonMobil Corporation.

The next major hydrocarbons project in the country seeking finance will be Qatargas 3, for which a request for proposals is due out to banks by the end of August for a debt package of about $2,900 million. QP and the US' ConocoPhillipsare the sponsors; Societe Generaleis the financial adviser (MEED 5:8:05).

www.meed.com/bankingfinance

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