Commercial Bank (“the Bank”), one of the leading full service banks in Qatar, recently announced the successful pricing and closing of an issuance of USD 750 million five-year senior unsecured Notes under the Bank and its subsidiary, CBQ Finance Limited’s USD 5 billion European Medium Term Note (“EMTN”) Programme (the “Programme”) which the Bank established. The issue was arranged and offered through a syndicate of Joint Lead Managers comprising BofA Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Morgan Stanley and attracted substantial global interest with orders in excess of USD 3.2 billion.
To support the issue, representatives from Commercial Bank embarked on a roadshow with the Joint Lead Managers to meet investors in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai). During the roadshow, they visited financial institutions, pension funds, asset managers and supranational bodies, and held one-to-one and group meetings in the countries visited. Investors from the global community participated in this issue, with the majority of investors from the Middle East (38%) followed by Europe (24%), Asia (22%) and the UK (16%). Half of the participants were new investors to Commercial Bank, including some of the world’s leading fixed income investors, with strong demand from Qatari institutions.
The Notes were issued at a spread of 117 basis points over mid-swaps and will carry a coupon of 2.875% per annum. The spread was the tightest achieved by a Qatari five year US Dollar issuance since 2007, demonstrating the strong investor appetite for the Notes. The net proceeds of the issue will be used for general funding purposes to support the strategic growth plans of the Bank.
Commenting on the announcement, Commercial Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abdulla Saleh Al Raisi, said, “We are delighted by the overwhelming response our issuance under the EMTN Programme received from global fixed income investors; the offer was considerably oversubscribed with over USD 3.2 billion placed in orders.”
He added, “The GCC region is witnessing robust deal flows due to a combination of strong market demand and attractive pricing levels. The successful issuance is a clear indication of the continuing confidence of the fixed income community in the strength and economic stability of Qatar, and is testament to Commercial Bank’s strategy, financial strength and prudent management.”
Commercial Bank was the first Qatari entity to establish an EMTN Programme with a listing on the London Stock Exchange, and the first Qatari bank to issue a bond in the international capital markets. The Notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and are rated A1 from Moody’s and A- from Standard and Poor’s.
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