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Mon 21 Feb 2011 10:08 PM

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Commercial Bank of Qatar $5bn bond plan approved

Shareholders approved the bond programme allowing firm to tap international debt markets

Commercial Bank of Qatar $5bn bond plan approved
CBQs fourth-quarter net profit soared 66 percent, but fell short of forecasts due to higher-than-expected provisions (Getty Images)

Shareholders of Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) approved on Monday a $5bn bond programme, bank officials said, allowing the firm to tap international debt markets.

A shareholders' meeting approved the Euro medium term notes programme, they said.

"It's a blanket approval should we need to draw on it," Chief Executive Andy Stevens told Reuters.

CBQ last tapped global debt markets with a five-year, 275m Swiss franc ($290m) denominated bond issue in November, the first Qatari credit in the currency, which pays a coupon of 3 percent.

The bank also issued $1.6bn in a dual-tranche bond in November 2009.

A healthy pipeline of bond issues from the Gulf Arab region was expected to result in more than $30bn in issuance in 2011, but borrowers have been wary of selling debt as political instability spreads after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

Nonetheless, bankers have received requests for proposals from potential issuers, including the Bahrain government and Oman's Bank Muscat.

CBQ's fourth-quarter net profit soared 66 percent, but fell short of forecasts due to higher-than-expected provisions, the lender reported in January.

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