Gas-rich Gulf state seen taking roadshows to London and New York later this month
Qatar has mandated six banks to conduct roadshows with investors and a potential sovereign bond issue may follow, according to lead managers on Tuesday, in a bid to take advantage of healthy demand for high-rated Gulf paper.
The gas-rich Gulf Arab state selected Citi, JP Morgan, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ, Qatar National Bank and Standard Chartered. Qatar is rated AA by Standard & Poor's.
Roadshows take place in London on November 25 and in New York on November 28, following which a 144a bond - open to institutional investors in the United States - may follow "subject to market conditions."
"Right now is the time to jump on the issuing bandwagon," said a regional fixed income trader. "(Qatar) wants to take advantage of this recent pricing. If Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank can launch at 245 basis points over midswaps, then they can get pretty tight pricing."
Earlier on Tuesday, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank priced a $500m Islamic bond, or sukuk, the latest in a string of issuers from the region seeking to take advantage of demand for the asset class.
Several more potential borrowers have announced roadshows to be held in the coming week to take advantage of a shrinking window of opportunity to issue amid dicey global markets and the relative stability in the Gulf region.
Last week, Bahrain priced a $750m seven-year Islamic bond at a profit rate of 6.273 percent. The issue had been delayed by political unrest in the island kingdom.
Qatar's last bond was a three-tranche, $7bn issue in November 2009, just before Dubai's debt crisis came to light and shut regional bond markets for months.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.