UAE's Etisalat plans bond sale ahead of euro maturity - sources

$1.45bln bond maturity in June

  
Customers use their mobile phones outside an Etisalat store at a shopping mall in Dubai.

Customers use their mobile phones outside an Etisalat store at a shopping mall in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh

DUBAI- Abu Dhabi-based telecoms operator Etisalat is expected to tap the international bond market in the coming days ahead of a 1.2 billion euro ($1.45 billion) bond maturity in June, three sources familiar with the matter said.

One of the sources said the planned euro-denominated bond sale could come as early as this week.

Etisalat, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has not issued bonds since its debut sale in 2014.

That deal comprised two euro-denominated tranches worth 1.2 billion euros each and two U.S. dollar-denominated worth $500 million each. One of the euro tranches is due on June 18.

The Gulf has seen a flood of debt sales so far this year, as borrowers in the oil-dependent region take advantage of cheap rates and abundant global liquidity to plug finances hit by the pandemic-induced downturn. 

On Tuesday, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), owned by Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ, was marketing a two-tranche U.S. dollar bond deal. 

Meanwhile Kuwait's Equate Petrochemical Company announced plans on Monday to issue new seven-year dollar bonds. 

Still, despite the recent flurry of deals, a rebound in oil prices may limit Gulf government's needs to tap debt investors in the coming months, bankers said, in a region where government debt transactions account for the largest part of total borrowing volumes.

Frequent issuers such as Qatar, which last year issued $10 billion in bonds, and Abu Dhabi, which raised $15 billion in total last year, have yet to tap the markets.

($1 = 0.8296 euros)

(Reporting by Yousef Saba and Davide Barbuscia) ((Yousef.Saba@thomsonreuters.com; +971562166204))

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