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Monday, 16 May 2016

Bahrain Said to Raise $435 Million From Privately Placed Sukuk

Bahrain, whose junk rating was lowered by Moody’s Investors Service, tapped the dollar bond market for a second time in three months, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Gulf nation appointed Noor Bank, Bank ABC and Kuwait Finance House to arrange a $435 million, privately placed Islamic offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The three-year debt will have a profit rate of 325 basis points over midswaps. Moody’s on Saturday reduced Bahrain’s long-term rating one notch to Ba2, two levels below investment grade.
The island state is attempting to shore up state finances pressured by low oil prices. Bahrain’s vulnerability to a decline in crude increased since 2009 when government expenditures started to rise in response to the global economic slowdown and civil unrest in the country. The sovereign last tapped the dollar bond market in February when it raised $600 million, a week after S&P Global Ratings cut the nation’s credit grade to junk.

Spokesmen for Bahrain’s central bank, Kuwait Finance House and Bank ABC didn’t immediately respond to calls or e-mails. No one at Noor Bank was immediately available for comment.

(Bloomberg / 15 May 2016)
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