First sovereign bond seen 9-12 months away

(SALEM KHAMIS)

The UAE's planned first sovereign bond issue is still nine months to a year away, a senior Finance Ministry official said yesterday.

"The newly set up debt management office is [studying] the specific needs of the government," Younis Al Khouri, Director-General at the Finance Ministry, told reporters.

"So, for the next nine to 12 months, no [issue is planned]."

In June, Khouri said the UAE planned to issue its first sovereign bond to fund infrastructure and other spending, following issues by Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but was yet to set its timeframe and size.

Abu Dhabi raised $3 billion (Dh11bn) in March as part of a $10bn bond programme planned until 2011 for general government spending.

Dubai's efforts to support government-linked companies has included the sale of $10bn in bonds to the UAE Central Bank in February last year.

Al Khouri said the UAE plans to create a debt-management unit within six months to a year which will work with the central bank

 

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