Bahrain's SWF says no plan to tap debt markets in 2014

Chief exec of sovereign fund Mumtalakat also says it will pay off small loan facility this year
Bahrain's SWF says no plan to tap debt markets in 2014
Mumtalakat CEO Mahmood Al Kooheji.
By Reuters
Tue 18 Mar 2014 04:53 PM

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat has no current plans to tap the debt capital markets in 2014 and will pay off a small loan facility due later in the year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

One of the smaller sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf region, Mumtalakat had $7.1 billion of assets under management at the end of September. It holds stakes in 40 firms in the kingdom's non-oil sector, including Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) and Aluminium Bahrain (Alba).

It signed a $250 million revolving credit facility last year and $75 million of that deal will mature in August. It will be paid off and not renewed, CEO Mahmood al-Kooheji said in an email in response to questions from Reuters.

Mumtalakat's next significant debt maturity is not until June 2015, when a $750 million bond comes due, Kooheji said.

"We remain actively engaged with developments in the global capital markets and bank markets. While we do not currently have specific plans for material financing activity this year, we will remain opportunistic in our approach."

The $750 million bond, issued in June 2010, was Mumtalakat's debut bond offering. Since then, it has printed two small sukuk issues denominated in Malaysian ringgit.

Mumtalakat, set up in 2006, has a budget of 150 million dinars ($397.9 million) to spend in 2014 on investments as the fund pursues a more aggressive stance after being hamstrung by losses at Gulf Air in previous years, Kooheji told Reuters in January.

Traditionally focused on Bahrain, Mumtalakat is eyeing investments worldwide and hopes to complete some acquisitions in the ICT (information and communications technology) space.

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