First Gulf Bank Eyes Five-Year Bond

The Abu Dhabi bank is planning a $500 million bond as an existing one to mature in 2017 yields 2.7 per cent.



Abu Dhabi-listed First Gulf Bank plans to issue a five-year, benchmark-sized dollar-denominated bond imminently, arranging banks said on Monday.

Early price talk was seen at 220 basis points over midswaps but market sources expect this to tighten at launch, although this will depend on demand for the deal.

FGB’s existing 2017 maturity – a $500 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, – was yielding about 2.7 per cent on Monday, according to Thomson Reuters data, at a z-spread of about 207.6 basis points.

The z-spread is a pricing tool which calculates the number of basis points that need to be added to a zero-coupon yield curve to make the bond’s discounted cash flows equal the bond’s present value FGB plans to issue the new bond under its $3.5 billion euro medium term notes programme.

Benchmark-sized is understood to mean at least $500 million. Citi, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank are arranging the deal.

Reuters reported last week that the lender, the second-largest by market value in the United Arab Emirates, was eyeing a new bond sale.