Qatar's Commercial Bank expects to issue $500mln bonds in Q1 or Q2-CEO

Qatari banks have sought to tap a larger variety of investors

  

DOHA - Qatar's Commercial Bank expects to issue bonds worth $500 million in the first or second quarter of 2020, Chief Executive Joseph Abraham said on Sunday.

Qatari banks, traditionally reliant on foreign funding, have sought to tap a greater variety of investors after Qatar became locked in a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain in mid-2017.

"I think it's a good time (to sell bonds) because the interest rates have gone down and there is good appetite for Qatar," Abraham told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Doha.

The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates three times this year, but signalled in late October its rate-cutting cycle might now pause.

Abraham said he expects 5% loan growth in 2020 for his bank, similar to the pace seen so far this year.

Commercial Bank, the country's third-largest bank by assets, has been looking to sell its 40% stake in Abu Dhabi-listed United Arab Bank (UAB), after sale talks stalled last year.

"We are continuing to manage that business as a continuing part of our business," Abraham said.

"We are very clear if we don't get the price we're looking for we're not interested in discussing."

(Reporting by Eric Knecht; Writing by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle) ((Saeed.Azhar@thomsonreuters.com; +971 44536787; Reuters Messaging: saeed.azhar.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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