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Abu Dhabi’s TAQA eyeing bond issue in 2012

TAQA secures regulatory approval for 3.5 bln ringitt sukuk; Eyeing conventional bond, won't launch both at same time; Says not planning Malaysia sukuk until H1 2012; TAQA has $3.5 bln in upcoming bonds, $500 mln bank credit

November 1, 2011 12:10 by

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) has secured regulatory approval for its 3.5 billion ($1.1 billion) Malaysian ringgit programme, but may also tap the conventional bond market next year to refinance debts, its chief financial officer said.

TAQA, which invests in the energy sector globally, set up the Malaysian ringgit programme in early October .

The programme is aimed at diversifying its funding sources.

“We have a lot of debt in the next two years to refinance and it (the sukuk) gives us another string to our bow,” Stephen Kersley told Reuters in an interview.

TAQA’s debt includes $3.5 billion in maturing bonds and $500 million in bank credit.

While TAQA may not go to the Malaysian market until the first half of 2012, despite what Kersley said was a “very strong appetite” there, it may launch a conventional bond next year.

“It is possible, it is an option. It will be a mix, but not at the same time,” he said, without stating the potential size of the bonds.

TAQA may also look at project financing from banks despite a tightening of credit by lenders.

“There is a market there for well structured projects,” he said, declining to elaborate.

The 75 percent Abu Dhabi government-owned company had a debt ratio of 79 percent with a stated target of 70 percent. “We are moving in the right direction,” he said.

Its second-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by high oil prices and increased production in Britain. TAQA plans to announce third-quarter results on Nov. 15.

TAQA wants to invest in power production in Europe, which would allow it to integrate its existing gas production and huge storage facility in the Netherlands, a company executive said earlier in the month. (By Stanley Carvalho)

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