Qatar plans investor meetings, may issue bonds after: Sources

Qatar is planning to meet fixed income investors starting in mid-February, two sources said, ahead of a potential sale of international bonds.

Qatar will hold a so-called non-deal roadshow – investor meetings not tied to a specific deal – in Europe from February 15-17, in the US from February 22-24 and in Asia on February 25 and March 1, the sources said, adding that Standard Chartered is handling logistics.

Qatar’s finance ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Standard Chartered declined to comment.

Sources have previously said Qatar would only issue bonds this year to refinance maturing notes, but that it might decide to increase its outstanding issuance due to expected high demand.

Qatar, rated AA- by S&P and Fitch, has $3.5 billion in bonds maturing in June, according to Refinitiv data.

“If somebody wants to give them money which is 30 basis points cheaper than last year, of course – I would think – that they will want to take more money. But it just depends where markets are,” one of the sources, who has knowledge of the matter, said.

In April last year, Qatar raised $10 billion via a three-tranche bond deal – the first sovereign in the Gulf to issue debt after a historic slide in oil prices and the deep uncertainty of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Positive market conditions have helped Gulf issuers to achieve record-setting deals in recent weeks, including the region’s lowest-yielding Additional Tier 1 issuance from Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender, National Commercial Bank, and the lowest coupon on Gulf bank senior bonds from Qatar National Bank, the Gulf’s biggest lender.

The governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman have issued bonds worth a total of more than $10 billion in January.

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