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DUBAI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) has chosen six banks to arrange an upcoming U.S. dollar-denominated bond sale, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.
The bond will be a benchmark transaction, which traditionally means upwards of $500 million, and could be launched as early as the end of January, said the sources.
Citigroup, HSBC, JP Morgan, Mizuho, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered are the lead banks, said the sources, with one of them adding that JP Morgan and National Bank of Abu Dhabi are coordinating the transaction.
GIB was not immediately available for comment.
GIB is likely to be one of the first banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council to issue international bonds in 2017, leading the way for a number of regional lenders tapping debt markets to offset the impact of lower oil prices on their liquidity and to comply with international regulatory standards on capital adequacy ratios.
The Bahraini lender issued a request for proposals for the bond in November last year, as reported by Reuters.
GIB has a $500 million outstanding five-year Eurobond maturing in December 2017. Barclays, GIB Capital, JP Morgan, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered were the lead arrangers of the 2012 bond sale.
GIB is 97.22 percent-owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. It is rated Baa1 by Moody's and A- by Fitch. (Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)