Bahrain ap­proaches banks about sukuk sale in the Q1

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: The King­dom of Bahrain is in talks with lenders for an Is­lamic bond, or sukuk, which is ex­pected to be is­sued in the first quar­ter of 2017, bank­ing sources said. No banks have been ap­pointed yet to ar­range the debt trans­ac­tion, the bankers said on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the in­for­ma­tion has not been made public. The size of the debt is­suance will be a min­i­mum of $500 mil­lion, one of the bank­ing sources said. Bahrain’s Min­istry of Fi­nance was not avail­able for im­me­di­ate comment. The King­dom has some $5 bil­lion-equiv­a­lent in debt ma­tur­ing in 2017, mostly con­sist­ing of short-term lo­cal cur­rency trea­sury bills. It has no US dol­lar bond ex­pir­ing next year, Thom­son Reuters data shows. Bahrain’s lat­est US dol­lar debt is­suance was in Oc­to­ber, when it sold a $2 bil­lion bond com­pris­ing a $1 bil­lion sukuk and a $1 bil­lion con­ven­tional bond. The $1 bil­lion long seven-year sukuk, ma­tur­ing in Fe­bru­ary 2024, car­ries a 5.625 per­cent coupon rate, while the con­ven­tional bond, with a 12-year ma­tu­rity pe­riod, was is­sued with a 7 per­cent in­ter­est rate.

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