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Fri 29 Oct 2010 10:30 AM

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Qatar's QNB picks banks for benchmark dollar bond

Bond issue expected to be launched after roadshow covering Asia, Europe and UK

Qatar's QNB picks banks for benchmark dollar bond
BOND ISSUE: Qatars largest lender by market value, has mandated five banks to arrange investor meetings for a potential bond issue

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf state's largest lender by market value, has mandated five banks to arrange investor meetings for a potential bond issue, according to one of the lead banks.

Barclay's Capital, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, Standard Chartered and QNB Capital, the investment banking arm of QNB, are the joint lead managers and bookrunners for the benchmark bond.

Benchmark size is typically $500 million.

The bond issue is expected to be launched after a roadshow covering Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom starting on November 3, according to a statement that one of the lead banks sent to investors and which was seen by Reuters on Thursday.

"It's for general funding purposes," a source at an arranging bank with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The source said: "There is a lot of international demand for Qatar, as we saw with the Qtel issuance."

Qatar Telecommunications Co (Qtel) launched a $1.5 billion bond sale this month which attracted subscriptions exceeding $15 billion.

The demand helped the company tap a further $1.25 billion dual-tranche bond days later.

There has been a flurry of new issues from the Gulf Arab region in recent weeks as issuers seize opportunities amid improving market conditions and strong international demand for high-yielding paper.

Many of the recent issues that have come to the market have been substantially oversubscribed, leading issuers to tap into pent-up demand for bonds from the region.

Chavan Bhogaita, head of credit research at National Bank of Abu Dhabi said: "Issuers are looking to take advantage of conducive market conditions and the strong demand demonstrated by investors for deals that have come to the market over the last few weeks."

On Thursday, Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) mandated banks to arrange fixed income investor meetings and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was due to price a sukuk.(Reuters)

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