Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) has announced the successful launch and pricing of a $650 million seven-year bond. The bonds are rated BBB - by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Initial price guidance was issued at a spread of 350 basis points over US Treasuries, said an announcement from lead arrangers BNP Paribas and Citigroup.
The bond for Batelco, 78 per cent owned by the Bahraini government, is expected to cover part of a funding package for its $1 billion acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications' assets in Monaco and other island states.
The transaction attracted a $4.8 billion orderbook across 255 accounts with allocations of 38 per cent to Middle East investors, 12 per cent to Asia, 22 per cent to Europe, 27 per cent to UK and the remaining one per cent to other investors.
Commenting on the success, Batelco Group CEO Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said, "We are extremely pleased with the success of this transaction, Batelco Group’s first foray into international bond market. The strong demand, attractive pricing and the extremely quick take up of the issue underscores the confidence of the global markets in our strategy, business model and prospects as we grow from a regional operator of reference into a global telecommunications player."
"In addition, the transaction also highlights our strong credit quality, strengthens our funding mix and provides us with greater financial flexibility," he added.-Reuters and TradeArabia News Service