(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Following on from previous successful issues this year in the Malaysian Ringgit and Swiss Franc markets, Gulf Investment Corporation G.S.C. ("GIC") successfully returned to the public US Dollar bond market on Wednesday 21st November with its first new issue there since 2005.
This was the culmination of a highly focused execution strategy that enabled GIC to conduct a 3-day marketing campaign in the UAE, Singapore and London, and then directly print the bond in advance of the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S.A.
The transaction achieved GIC's target size of USD 500mn, with a 5-year maturity. Having initiated price guidance at a level of mid-to-high 200 bps over US swaps and then revising guidance to 250-275 bps over US swaps, final pricing was at the tight end of this range at US swaps plus 250 bps. This led to a yield of 3.296% and a coupon of 3.250%. Lead managers of the transaction were BNP Paribas, Citigroup, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered Bank.
The issue was two times oversubscribed at this competitive pricing, with nearly 100 investors from Asia, Europe and the Middle East participating. Final allocations saw almost half of the bond placed outside the Middle East (38% into Europe alone), with accounts comprising banks, fund managers, pension and insurance companies, fund managers, private banks and sovereign agencies. The bond was 50% allocated to non-bank investors.
As well as securing attractive commercial terms for GIC, this transaction firmly continues the company's strategic objective to be an opportunistic multi-currency borrower, able to target the pockets of investor demand that are offering the best terms.
Commenting on the transaction, the Chief Executive Officer of GIC, Mr Hisham Al-Razzuqi, said : "I'm delighted that GIC is back in the US Dollar bond market, and that investors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East continue to support our unique credit story. The positive market reception is clear testimony to the progress and growth that GIC has achieved in recent years, and which I fully expect to see continuing into the future.
"As far as our ongoing funding strategy is concerned, this bond will be an important step in building a consistent presence in the Debt Capital Markets via ongoing US Dollar yield curve development and alternative currency issuance." Established in 1983, GIC is a regional financial institution owned entirely and equally by the six GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. GIC strives to provide a comprehensive set of financial services that promote development of the private enterprise and foster economic growth in the GCC.
GIC has emerged as a regional leader in its chosen fields, and has successfully promoted and developed projects in the GCC across a range of sectors, including financial services, petrochemical, metal, power, utilities, and communications.