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Middle East

7 Dec 2018   Middle East, Deals

Omantel Treasurer: Increased Funding Costs, IFRS9 to Weigh on Capex-Heavy Sectors in GCC

Omantel, Oman’s majority state-owned telecommunications company, last year completed a USD2.25bn acquisition of shares in Zain Group, a regional competitor. The deal was funded with a bridge loan that was later refinanced with a term loan and the largest corporate bond issued out of the country – a dual-tranche senior secured offering which attracted a wide group of investors from around the world, including Europe, Asia and the US. We speak with Narayanan Seshan, General Manager of the Treasury at Omantel, about this deal and other “funky” financing structures emerging in the region.

MEGA in MENA: Large-Scale Infrastructure Pipeline Deepens and Broadens as PPP Rules Gather Pace

The GCC is rarely known for doing anything in half-measures, and infrastructure projects – which have grown in number and size in recent years – are no exception.

Mohammed Khnifer: Short-Term Loans Not the Answer to Long-Term Funding Needs

Mohammed Khnifer, Senior Associate, Debt Capital Markets at the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), spoke to Bonds & Loans about Saudi Arabia’s real estate sector, the upcoming inclusion of Saudi debt in the JP Morgan indices, and the development of regulation within the country.

GCC Credit Allure Strong Against Broader EM Challenges, But Fundamental Shifts Can’t be Ignored

The outlook for GCC credit remains buoyant through the remainder of the year despite a brief lull through the summer months. Still, deeper and more frequent questions about the structural challenges faced by many of the GCC economies suggest more uncertainty lies ahead in the longer term, according to bankers, borrowers, investors and economists who spoke with Bonds & Loans on a recent research trip to the region.

Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards: The 2018 Winners

This year’s Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards saw no shortage of firsts as the regions borrowers and finance professionals pushed the boundaries of the possible through new structures and techniques in a range of transactions.

Beyond 2030: Diversification, Corporate Transformation and Funding in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates among other GCC nations has set its sights on the cultivation of a well-diversified, mature economy built on strong, sustainable, globally-integrated businesses. For many borrowers looking to get in front of the trend, the shift will entail a radical transformation in corporate culture and approach to funding.

Saudi Debt Surge Cuts Through Broader EM Woes – But for How Long?

The last few months have seen a spate of bond issuances from within Saudi Arabia, marking an upsurge in the frequency of borrowing in the country since the 2014 oil price crash. Yet on the whole sovereign issuance appears to be falling, as ambitious economic reforms begin to address the country’s economic imbalances.

Baladna CEO: ‘Blockade a boon for Qatar’s dairy sector’

When a UAE and Saudi-led diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar was first announced in June 2017, many economists were concerned about the Gulf country’s ability to absorb the shock of being cut-off from key trading partners. In an odd twist of fate, the move led to an acceleration in Doha’s drive for economic self-sufficiency that became a boon for some of the country’s key domestic sectors – food and agricultural businesses among them. Bonds & Loans speaks with Peter Weltevreden, CEO at Baladna, one of the country’s largest dairy producers, about how the blockade has accelerated its corporate development plans in the run-up to a highly anticipated 2019 initial public offering.

ADNOC CIO on Capital Efficiency, Investment Strategy and Downstream Growth

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has over the past year inked a number of landmark – and in some cases pioneering – transactions, part of a bold new strategy aimed at expanding and enhancing the company’s global position. We speak with one of the architects of the funding strategy behind it, Michele Fiorentino, Chief Investment Officer at ADNOC.

Franklin Templeton Sees Strong Project Finance Pipeline in GCC

Franklin Templeton’s Senior Research Analyst Franck Nowak concedes that some optimism has faded over the past quarter, especially as Fed hikes look inevitable and EM jitters have settled in, but underscores the fact that GCC bonds are performing still well and project finance is expected to drive the deal pipeline for the region in 2018.

 

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