January 28, 2019 / 11:50 AM / 3 months ago

Qatar National Bank hires arrangers for U.S. dollar bond: sources

FILE PHOTO: Qatar National Bank in Doha, Qatar, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest lender by assets in the Middle East and Africa, is planning to issue U.S. dollar-denominated bonds and has hired banks to arrange the debt sale, sources familiar with the matter said.

The planned bond issue would be QNB’s first public dollar bond transaction in more than two years and its first since a political dispute erupted in 2017 between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

A group of banks including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, ING and Standard Chartered have been hired to arrange the transaction, said the sources.

QNB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barclays and Deutsche Bank declined to comment, while ING and Standard Chartered did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

QNB is an active debt issuer and has widened its funding sources over the past two years, partly because of Qatar’s regional dispute, opting for private placements in different currencies.

The new bond will be of benchmark size - which generally means upwards of $500 million - and will be issued shortly, the sources said without providing further detail.

Sources told Reuters last week that other Qatari banks were considering issuing U.S. dollar bonds, hoping to take advantage of an easing in global volatility.

Reporting by Virginia Furness in London and Davide Barbuscia and Tom Arnold in Dubai; Editing by David Goodman

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