RIYADH, May 3 (Reuters) - National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the Gulf state’s largest commercial lender, is expected to issue a senior unsecured dollar bond over the next few weeks, banking sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
NBK’s bond will be of benchmark size, which usually means upwards of $500 million, said one of the sources.
The Kuwaiti lender was not available for comment.
Banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council region are considering debt issues to comply with international regulations on capital adequacy ratios and to cushion against high non-performing loan ratios caused by lower oil prices.
Citi, JP Morgan and NBK Capital are expected to be among the banks leading the transaction, the sources said.
The bank’s last public debt sale was a $700 million capital-boosting bond with a perpetual lifespan issued in 2015. That bond was arranged by HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citi, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and NBK Capital.
Last month NBK reported an 8.1 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit to 85.4 million dinars ($281 million) which it said was due to higher net interest income and income from Islamic financing as a result of strong growth in business volumes.
NBK is the highest rated bank in the Middle East, according to its website, with ratings of A+ by Standard & Poor’s, AA- by Fitch and Aa3 by Moody’s. ($1 = 0.3040 Kuwaiti dinars) (Editing by Greg Mahlich)