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Tue 24 Sep 2019 07:15 PM

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Bahrain said to tap international bond market a year after $10bn bailout

Source says Gulf kingdom unlikely to raise more than $2bn from the sale of dollar-denominated debt

Bahrain said to tap international bond market a year after $10bn bailout
If Bahrain goes ahead with the sale, it would be its first since Gulf Arab allies pledged $10 billion in aid in October.

Bahrain is tapping the international bond market about a year after it secured a bailout package from its wealthier neighbours.

The island kingdom won’t raise more than $2 billion from the sale of dollar-denominated debt, which includes Sharia-compliant securities due 2027 and a conventional bond due 2031, according to a person familiar with the matter, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified.

The potential issuance comes amid a sudden surge in debt sales by frontier and emerging sovereigns after the cost of borrowing declined. On Monday, Abu Dhabi raised $10 billion and South Africa finalised its biggest-ever debt deal.

If Bahrain goes ahead with the sale on Tuesday, it would be its first since Gulf Arab allies pledged $10 billion in aid in October to help stabilise the nation’s fragile finances. It delayed an offering earlier this year.

BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Gulf International Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, National Bank of Bahrain and Standard Chartered are managing the offering.

Bahrain is rated B+ by S&P Global Ratings, four notches below investment grade.

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