Abu Dhabi starts marketing two-tranche bonds, document shows

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Abu Dhabi skyline is seen, December 15, 2009. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi on Wednesday gave an initial price guidance of about 90 basis points (bps) over U.S. Treasuries (UST) for 10-year bonds and around 130 bps over UST for 30-year bonds, a bank document showed, in its second bond sale of the year.

BNP Paribas, First Abu Dhabi Bank, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered are arranging the deal, the document from one of the banks showed. The deal is expected to close later on Wednesday.

Gulf governments are seeking to lock in funding while rates remain at historic lows, despite a rebound in oil turning their fortunes after their economies were battered by last year’s historic price crash, along with the impact of the pandemic.

Abu Dhabi will likely raise around $3 billion, two sources said. The emirate sold $2 billion in seven-year bonds in May, after hauling $15 billion from bond issues last year.

Abu Dhabi is expected to post a deficit of $11.7 billion in 2021, although the budget was drafted on an oil price assumption of $46 a barrel. Brent crude was trading at around $72 on Wednesday.

As of end-June 2021, Abu Dhabi had $39.5 billion in outstanding bonds and $3.7 billion in loans from local banks, while it had $2.4 billion in explicitly guaranteed obligations, an investor presentation reviewed by Reuters showed.

Entities owned by the government had borrowed approximately $59.2 billion as of the end of June last year, the presentation showed, although the emirate does not guarantee the debt issued by its wholly-owned entities.

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