Qtel stock may gain after plan for 15-year bond issue

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Shares in Qatar Telecom (Qtel) may gain on Wednesday after arranging banks said the operator plans to issue a 15-year bond worth at least US$500m.

Early price guidance for the bond was released at 250 basis points over ten-year US Treasuries.

"For Qtel this is a positive for sure and shows confidence in the company's outlook with a long tenor and tight spread," says Anastasios Dalgiannakis, institutional trading manager at Mubasher.

"But I would think of its upcoming subsidiary's Asiacell's IPO (initial public offering). Qtel explicitly said they are ready to provide full funding and support to Asiacell - they are going to have an advantage over competitors."

Iraq's Asiacell said it planned to raise at least US$1.35bn by floating 25 percent of its share capital on the Baghdad stock market.

Qtel, which raised stakes in affiliates in Iraq, Kuwait and Tunisia in the last 12 months, is also looking to bid for Vivendi's stake in Maroc Telecom, valued near US$7.4bn, sources told Reuters in December.

In Dubai, the government priced a US$750m ten-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, as well as a US$500m, 30-year conventional bond, as it sought to lock in longer-term funding at among the lowest borrowing costs available to it.

Tight spreads and strong confidence in the credit is already priced into the equity market of Dubai, Dalgiannakis says.

Elsewhere, shares in Oman National Investment Corp Holding (ONIC) may see increased interest after sources said an Omani sovereign wealth fund is in advanced talks to buy a near 42 percent stake in the firm from Dubai Group.

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