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Abu Dhabi’s UNB eyes window for benchmark bond

UNB launches benchmark-sized 5-year dollar bond - leads; Bank aims to price this week; Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC mandated among others


November 1, 2011 11:31 by

Abu Dhabi’s Union National Bank will aim to price a benchmark-sized five-year dollar-denominated bond this week, as Middle Eastern issuers spot a window in volatile economic conditions to return to the debt market.

The bank has mandated Citi , Deutsche Bank , HSBC , National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered for the trade, with books currently open to orders from investors, two lead managers said.

A benchmark-sized deal is upwards of $500 million.

International Petroleum Investment Company reopened the Gulf bond market last week and this paved the way for UNB, a banker close to the deal said.

However, the bumper $3.75 billion three-tranche bond, which included $1.5 billion with a March 2017 maturity, was priced with an additional premium to attract interest and this could impact on what UNB has to pay, a trader said.

“Where IPIC came means there will be more requirement on pricing from investors, but UNB should get away with sub-400 basis points — 400 bps would be extremely generous,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

No price talk has been released to the market, the leads added. IPIC’s five-year-ong tranche priced at 262.5 bps over U.S. Treasuries.

UNB held a series of investor meetings at the end of September but volatile market conditions meant the roadshows were completed without an issue subsequently following.

Capital raised from the bond issue will be used to help repay a $1 billion loan which is due to mature in December, according to a prospectus issued at the time.

UNB posted a 7.3 percent increase in third-quarter profit last week, helped by a surge in net interest income. (By David French; Additional reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Praveen Menon and David Cowell)


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