x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Abu Dhabi's Taqa closing $2bn bond

Taqa was last night in the final stages of closing a $2bn bond deal, intended to take advantage of cheap borrowing rates.

Taqa was last night in the final stages of closing a US$2 billion (Dh7.34bn) bond deal, intended to take advantage of cheap borrowing rates as a tide of liquidity sweeps the Middle East.

The company, also known as Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, is expecting to fully refinance $2bn of bonds coming due in August and October, according to people familiar with the matter.

"We're in the process of book-building. We've strong demand and we expect to finalise the transaction by Thursday morning," said a Taqa spokesman.

Taqa's bond sale is expected to be split into two issues worth $2bn in total – a $750 million bond maturing in five years and a $1.25bn bond maturing in ten years.

The sale is expected to be heavily oversubscribed.

Taqa is likely to be able to take advantage of a fall in borrowing rates for the Abu Dhabi Government, which indirectly owns a 51 per cent stake in the company.

Abu Dhabi's five-year government bonds currently yield 0.21 per cent, with yields down 1.1 percentage points in the past year alone.

In the same period, Taqa's five-year bond yields have fallen by a similar amount to 1.2 per cent. Bond yields move in the opposite direction from price.

Taqa's shares were flat in trading at Dh1.30 each yesterday.

ghunter@thenational.ae