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National Bank Of Oman Picks Banks For Potential Bond Sale

National Bank Of Oman Picks Banks For Potential Bond Sale

Should it issue, NBO would become the second Omani bank to issue a bond, after Bank Muscat printed a $500 million five-year deal in March 2013.

National Bank of Oman, the sultanate’s second-largest lender by assets, has picked four banks to schedule investor meetings ahead of a potential debut bond issue, a document from arranging banks said on Monday.

NBO joins other firms from the Gulf Arab region in tapping bond markets for the first time in 2014, at a time when borrowing costs have tightened thanks to increased interest from foreign investors and turmoil in other emerging markets.

The Omani lender has mandated Credit Agricole, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and Standard Chartered to arrange investor meetings in the Middle East, Europe and Asia starting on September 25.

A U.S. dollar-denominated bond offering of benchmark size may follow subject to market conditions, the document said. Benchmark size is traditionally understood to mean upwards of $500 million.

The Omani bank can issue notes up to $600 million under the terms of its Euro Medium-Term Note (EMTN) programme, which was provisionally rated A3 by Moody’s on September 5.

NBO, which appointed Ahmed al-Musalmi as chief executive in May, will start its roadshows in Hong Kong on Thursday, with further meetings to be held in Singapore on Friday, the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, and London on September 29.

Should it issue, NBO would become the second Omani bank to issue a bond, after Bank Muscat printed a $500 million five-year deal in March 2013.

It would also be the latest Gulf-based borrower to complete a debut offering at a time of favourable markets, after Etisalat , National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, the Emirate of Sharjah and Emaar Malls Group.

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