QNB Group, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa, has witnessed overwhelming response from global investors for its $1bn fixed-rate bond issue, indicating the growing confidence of international investing community in Qatar and the bank.
“The Reg S issue attracted strong interest from investors globally and was arranged by Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Mizuho, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered Bank (together joint lead managers),” QNB said in its regulatory filing with the Qatar Stock Exchange.
This success confirms the trust of international investors in QNB Group’s strategy and the strength of its financial position, it said.
The lender successfully completed the bond issuance under its Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The issuance was part of QNB Group’s ongoing strategy to ensure diversification of funding in terms of type, tenor and geography.
Qatar’s corporate sector is increasingly inclined towards global debt markets because of the prevailing low rate regime, given the robust bailout measures adopted by the various governments.
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), in its latest Capital Market Report, had said the strong global investor demand for Qatari debt, coupled with near-zero interest rates, against a backdrop of accommodative bond markets present Qatari corporates with an opportunity to raise cheap dollar-denominated debt to fund M&A (mergers and acquisitions) transactions as part of the anticipated consolidation wave across certain industries.
QNB Group’s had last year came out with its first green benchmark bond issuance and first ever green bond issued by a Qatari bank; it was also oversubscribed.
Under the MTN programme, a $600mn tranche in the form of senior unsecured notes was issued with a maturity of five years and listed on the London Stock Exchange in the sustainable bond market segment. QNB Group received subscriptions in excess of $14.8bn.
The QFC report had said QNB has been an active issuer, bringing to market Formosa bonds, which are issued in Taiwan but denominated in currencies other than the New Taiwan dollar, and renminbi-denominated Dim Sum bonds, besides bonds denominated in yen, Hong Kong dollars and Singapore dollars.
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