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Mumtalakat is ready to launch bonds roadshow

LONDON: Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund has joined a rush by Gulf entities to market bonds and, according to a source at one of the arranging banks, it plans to meet Asian and European fixed income investors from today.

Mumtalakat has appointed Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan and Standard Chartered to arrange the meetings.

It plans to meet Singapore and Hong Kong investors today and tomorrow, then investors in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi on Saturday and Sunday respectively, a syndicate official said.

It will then hold meetings in London on Monday and conclude in Germany and Switzerland on Tuesday.

Mumtalakat's investor meetings come on the heels of a roadshow by the emirate of Dubai.

Fund managers who attended the meetings said Dubai could issue a dollar-denominated Islamic bond as early as the third quarter.

While sources at the arranging banks declined to comment on a possible bond, ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's assigned 'A' ratings to the expected issue which S&P said would be an unsecured US dollar bond.

Fitch said Mumtalakat planned to use the bond's proceeds to "reduce short-term borrowings and for general corporate purposes".

Emerging bond markets are improving and other Gulf names that held presentations at the end of last month, but were forced to postpone their deals, could return to capital markets if the paralysis in the markets lifts.

Qatar's Diar, the property arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund, is preparing a $3.5 billion dual-tranche bond. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation could return to markets after postponing a benchmark dollar bond scheduled for last month. Abu Dhabi's government-owned Mubadala Development Company could also tap the market soon, fund managers say.



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