Abu Dhabi’s Top Bank Follows Dubai Rival to Dollar Bond Market

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(Bloomberg) — First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC followed its Dubai rival to the debt market by starting to market dollar-denominated Islamic bonds on Thursday.

© Bloomberg A branch of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi stands on the corniche in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Dec. 4, 2009.

Abu Dhabi’s biggest lender opened books on a $500 million five-year sukuk, setting initial price guidance at between 100 and 105 basis points over midswaps, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. A senior unsecured debt sale is expected to be closed on Thursday.

© Bloomberg Commercial and residential skyscrapers stand along the coastline in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. Abu Dhabi sold $10 billion of bonds in a three-part deal in its first international offering in two years as it takes advantage of relatively low borrowing costs.

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, KFH Capital KSCP, NCB Capital and Standard Chartered Bank are the joint lead managers for the sale.

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Read more: Pandemic-Stoked Bond Sales Set New Bar for Emerging Markets

Gulf banks are joining a wave of global borrowing after yields crashed following unprecedented stimulus by authorities to keep economies afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Emirates NBD PJSC raised $750 million this week in the Middle East’s first dollar bond sale of 2021.

Read more: Emerging Markets Top Franklin Templeton’s Bullish Bond Bets

Governments and companies in the Gulf will issue about $120 billion of dollar debt and Islamic securities this year, according to Franklin Templeton. That compares with a record $126 billion last year.

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