Dubai's DEWA aims for $1 bln sukuk issue in Q1 - CEO

The proceeds of the sukuk would be used to refinance existing debt and to invest in the company's projects

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is planning to issue an Islamic bond worth around $1 billion during the first quarter of 2013, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The proceeds of the sukuk would be used to refinance existing debt and to invest in the company's projects, Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the Qatari capital.

"It will be used for both - mainly for refinance, but also for investment," he said.

"We have sufficient capacity but we are also growing the network so there will be an increase, whether it is for transmission or distribution."

Tayer said that conversations were taking place with "many banks" about arranging the issue but he wouldn't reveal if lenders had been picked to complete the deal.

DEWA's head said in October that the emirate's sole utility would look to raise around 4.5 billion dirhams ($1.23 billion) of debt in 2013 through sukuk, export credit agency finance and securitisation deals.

The company last tapped the bond market in October 2010 when it priced a $2 billion dual-tranche bond and the improvement in Dubai's perception among investors since then, as well as a smoother global picture, will help it achieve better pricing.

The $500 million bond due 2016 had a bid price of 111.5 at 0855 GMT on Tuesday, while the $1.5 billion piece set to mature in 2020 was bid at 124.1.

DEWA also regained its investment grade credit rating from Moody's in September after it received a one notch upgrade, which should help lower its borrowing costs this time around.

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