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Taqa eyes dual-tranche bond

Dubai, December 4, 2012

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) is preparing to price a two-tranche dollar-denominated bond issue, maturing 2018 and 2023, after roadshows conclude on Tuesday, arranging banks said.

Taqa, which is 75-per cent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, joins Gulf International Bank (GIB) in pricing new issues as regional borrowers line up to get deals away before investors close books for the year.

Taqa, which is buying a number of BP's North Sea assets, said last week it had hired banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a benchmark-sized issue, typically at least $500 million.

The Abu Dhabi firm is a frequent bond issuer and familiar to international investors, in part due to its global profile. At the end of the third quarter, it had a cash position of Dh3.5 billion ($950 million) as well as Dh14.8 billion worth of unused credit facilities.

The company has $1.75 billion in bond maturities next year. It last tapped markets for a dollar-denominated issue last December with a $1.5 billion two-tranche bond to refinance debt.

Taqa announced last week that it bought a 53.2-per cent operating interest in an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan from General Exploration Partners and earlier this year bought a 50 per cent stake in Kurdish power plant Chamchamal.

BNP Paribas, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings , National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered are mandated to arrange the deal.

Bahrain-based GIB is a less familiar name in the global fixed income community, although it too benefits from strong state-ownership.

GIB released early price talk for a five-year bond on Tuesday at a spread of 165 to 175 basis points over midswaps. The issue size is yet to be determined, and it will be GIB's first dollar deal in seven years, according to IFR Markets.

GIB is 97.2-per cent owned by the Saudi government, a level of risk international investors are likely to be more comfortable with. "GIB will see more Saudi interest, but interest for Taqa will be global," a regional fixed income trader said, declining to be identified.

Earlier this year, GIB conducted investor meetings in Malaysia for a possible Islamic bond, or sukuk, under a 3.5 billion ringgit programme but no issue has yet materialised.

Other shareholders are Gulf sovereign wealth funds including Kuwait Investment Authority and Qatar Holding.

GIB picked itself, JP Morgan Chase, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Barclays, Standard Chartered Plc and Societe Generale to arrange the deal.

The Kingdom of Morocco also concludes roadshows this week for a debut dollar issue.

Last week, International Petroleum Investment Company priced a $2.9 billion equivalent dual-currency bond. Gulf Investment Corp also priced a $500 million five-year bond in late November, its first dollar deal since 2005.-Reuters




Tags: Taqa | Abu Dhabi National Energy Company | bonds |

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