x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Qtel aims to raise $500m from issuance of 15-year bonds

Qtel plans to raise at least US$500 million from a 15-year bond issue on Wednesday, arranging banks said, just a month after it secured $1 billion from a debt market offering.

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) plans to raise at least US$500 million from a 15-year bond issue on Wednesday, arranging banks said, just a month after it secured $1 billion from a debt market offering.

The telecoms operator, rated A by Standard & Poor's, has picked five banks to arrange the deal and released early price talk at 250 basis points over 10-year US Treasuries for the bond sale.

Qtel has been raising stakes in its subsidiaries, taking advantage of the gas-rich Gulf state's healthy financial position at a time when other large telecom firms are shying away from deals.

The company, which raised $1bn in a long 10-year bond in December, is seen taking advantage of substantial demand for regional corporate debt and shrinking borrowing costs. Its last bond was multiple-times oversubscribed.

Qtel, which has expanded into more than 16 countries in the past decade, increased its stake in Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell and Kuwaiti affiliate Wataniya last year.

It also hired JP Morgan Chase to advise it on a potential bid for Vivendi's Maroc Telecom, a stake nearly worth $6bn based on current market price, sources told Reuters earlier in December.

RBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Citigroup and QNB Capital as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners for Qtel's latest bond deal.

The issue will be 144a-compliant, meaning it will be open to institutional investors in the United States.

It follows hot on the heels of a massively oversubscribed bond from Dubai government on Tuesday, which was also completed within a single day, as opportunistic borrowers seize narrow issuance windows.

 

* Reuters