Qatar lender CBQ eyes bond market return
Doha, March 21, 2012
Commercial Bank of Qatar has picked banks to arrange investor meetings in Asia, the Middle East and Europe ahead of a possible dollar-denominated bond issue, lead arrangers said.
The lender, Qatar’s third-largest by market value, has mandated HSBC, Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas to arrange the meetings which kick off in Hong Kong tomorrow (March 22) and end the following Monday in London.
A benchmark deal, normally understood to mean at least $500 million, may follow, depending on market conditions and regulatory approvals.
CBQ would become the third Qatari bank this year to print a deal if it decides to issue, after Qatar National Bank and Doha Bank, both of which managed to successfully tap strong demand for well-rated regional credits.
Improving market conditions raise the prospect of more Qatari issuance this year more likely. The cost to insure Qatari debt against default has tightened in recent weeks to settle at current levels of about 115 basis points, from over 130 basis points earlier in March.
CBQ established a new $5 billion bond programme in August, after shareholder approval in February last year.
Its last foray into the dollar bond market was a $1.6 billion issue in November 2009.
The bank recently signed a $455 million term loan with a club of seven regional and international banks, with proceeds to be used for general corporate purposes.
The bank posted a 22-per cent jump in fourth-quarter profit on increased lending and deposits. CBQ shares are down nearly 12 per cent this year. – Reuters