DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), the largest bank in the Middle East and Africa by assets, is raising a $1 billion, three-year syndicated loan in the Asian bank market, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
The Qatari lender is not new to the international loan market and has previously raised large debt facilities in both U.S. dollars and euros.
Agricultural Bank of China has a leading role in the new loan, the sources said.
A QNB spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Qatari lender approached banks for the new loan financing in mid-December, asking them to commit sizeable tickets ranging between $100 million and $300 million, one source said.
The loan offers all-in pricing – including interest margin and banks’ fees – of 120 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, the same source said.
QNB raised a 2.25 billion euro ($2.40 billion), three-year loan in May last year with a group of 14 lenders, including European and Asian banks. That loan paid an interest rate of 105 bps over the euro interbank offered rate.
Established in 1964 as the country’s first Qatari-owned commercial bank, QNB’s current ownership is equally split between the government’s Qatar Investment Authority and the private sector.
The Qatar Investment Authority was the top cornerstone investor in Agricultural Bank of China’s $22.1 billion initial public offer of shares in 2010.
QNB is rated Aa3 by Moody’s, A+ by Standard & Poor‘s, and AA- by Fitch.
Editing by Andrew Torchia