Qatar National Bank (QNB) is planning to tap global debt markets with a benchmark bond and has picked five banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a likely offering, the Gulf Arab lender said on Thursday.
QNB, the Gulf state's largest lender, has mandated Barclays Capital, Citigroup, HSBC, Standard Chartered and its own unit, QNB Capital, to manage the roadshows beginning February 13, the bank said in a bourse statement.
Earlier this week, Abu Dhabi's Dolphin Energy, majority-owned by investment fund Mubadala issued the first conventional bond from the region. The $1bn ten-year bond priced at 5.5 percent and attracted orders of about $9bn.
Benchmark bond offerings are typically at least $500m in size.
QNB said any bond would be issued under its $7.5bn bond programme which it set up in August to fund its banking operations.
The lender is 50-percent owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and has been expanding abroad, with operations in Syria, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.
It is currently in talks to acquire Turkey's Denizbank. In January, Qatar's finance minister, who is also chairman of QNB, said the bank could buy the Turkish lender by year's end if the "price is right".
The business was expected to fetch up to $6bn and would be QNB's largest acquisition to date.
QNB also has a $1.85bn five-year loan due for repayment in July, according to Thomson Reuters data.
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