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28 February 2024

NBAD eyes Asia for new bond mandates

By Reuters

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the largest bank by market value in the UAE, aims to expand its bond arranging business outside of its traditional Middle Eastern base, with Asia and Turkey target markets, a senior banker said on Thursday.

The lender hopes to complete a total of four or five deals by the end of the first half of the year, Fawaz Abu Sneineh, head of debt capital markets (DCM) at NBAD, told Reuters on the sidelines of a financial conference.

In response to a question on target markets, he added the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region would remain key but that the bank was also looking further afield.

"Turkey and Asia are good markets with potential, with companies looking actively for issuance," he said, declining to comment on specific mandates as they are not yet public.

NBAD is the most active regional bank in DCM by number of deals arranged. It moved up to fourth on the Thomson Reuters league table for Middle East Emerging Market Bonds in 2012, completing 18 deals, up from 19th in the previous year.

Abu Sneineh said he expects NBAD to work on a similar number of transactions for the full year 2013.

NBAD, majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is typically present as a lead arranger on most major bond deals from state-linked entities.

It has, however, extended its reach beyond its home emirate as well. In January, NBAD was mandated lead arranger on Dubai's two-tranche $1.25 billion bond offering.

It was also lead manager on its own A$300 million ($310 million) kangaroo bond, which priced on Thursday.