FGB set to raise $3 billion euro-commercial paper

The lender has received an expected senior unsecured rating of F1 (EXP) from Fitch Ratings and a provisional (P) Prime-1 (P1) short-term local and foreign currency rating from Moody’s Investors Services.



By Haseeb Haider/principal Correspondent

Published: Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:45 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:46 PM

Abu Dhabi - First Gulf Bank, or FGB, is set to raise a $3 billion euro-commercial paper (ECP) programme.

The lender has received an expected senior unsecured rating of F1 (EXP) from Fitch Ratings and a provisional (P) Prime-1 (P1) short-term local and foreign currency rating from Moody’s Investors Services.

Fitch Ratings also assigned an A+/F1 rating to FGB’s existing $1 billion Negotiable Certificate of Deposit programme.

The lender’s ECP issuance will have an original tenor up to one year, while the NCD issuance has an original maturity greater than seven days. The debt instruments will be issued to institutional investors across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. They can also be denominated in most currencies with US dollar, euro and British pound having the deepest liquidity.

The ECP programme comes as an addition to the bank’s existing programmes, which include: Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme of $5 billion, sukuk programme of $3.5 billion and medium term note programme of A$2 billion.

After prepaying a $900 million syndicated loan in January that was due to mature in December 2015, FGB successfully issued a five-year Dh2.743 billion EMTN at a coupon of 2.625 per cent on February 24, 2015.

Subsequent to March-end 2015 and in line with its funding diversification strategy across international markets, the lender completed its inaugural three-year Dh236 million Formosa bond, at a coupon rate of five per cent. This transaction has put FGB in an elite category of only 10 international FIG issuers that have been able to access the CNY Formosa market.

Another Abu Dhabi-based lender, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, announced its plans to raise its sukuk limit to $3 billion from the existing $2 billion ceiling.

“FGB has launched its new ECP programme following our strategy to diversify the sources of funding. The programme will increase FGB’s liquidity and will help in managing our short term liability profile. It will also provide access to a different pool of investors. The funding we will receive from this programme will be used for general corporate purposes,” said Christopher Wilmot, head of treasury and global markets.

— haseeb@khaleejtimes.com


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