Investors in Arab eurobond market mull quitting

DUBAI International investors in the Arab eurobond market have begun to look for exits as the US continues to talk of war in Iraq.

By Utpal Bhattacharya

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Published: Sun 16 Feb 2003, 3:53 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

Brokers said that they are seeing increasing incidences of international investors looking at exits as the risk premium on these assets rise after they have made substantial profits on them.

Apart from Arab governments, some of the region's leading institutions also have issued eurobonds. Regional issuers of eurobonds, however, told this paper, they do not feel threatened from the developments happening in the region. They said most of the institutional offers from the region have very little foreign investment component in them. According to them, whatever little exposure international institutions had made to fulfil their underwriting commitment in the bonds issues from the region have been generally sold by now. These were picked up by other institutions in the region. And thus, their was no questions of large scale exists at this point, they added.

Mohammed Yasin, general manager of Emirates Commercial Centre of Shares & Bonds, who has been following the Arab eurobond market very closely, said that a dollar drop here and there does not indicate much for the Arab eurobond market.

He also pointed out that the Arab market was flush with funds and with the interest rate being very low, any off-loading will be immediately absorbed. There would not be any impact on the market, unless there is a war, which would hit the market in the short term, he added.

In fact Tunisia, which is considered to have a safe-haven status among emerging Middle Eastern credits came out with a 300 million euro 10-year Eurobond last week led by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Merrill Lynch.

The Arab country has seen a slew of positive economic data, showing currency reserves rising 28.7 percent year on year to cover 84 days of imports.

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