Abu Dhabi Government ‘Considering’ Dollar Bond Offering in 2013

Abu Dhabi, the richest of the seven sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates, is considering a dollar debt sale in 2013, according to its Department of Finance.

“There might be some plans for next year, but this is not imminent,” Saeed Almazrouei, head of debt management at the emirate’s finance department said in a telephone interview today. We are “considering an issuance in dollars. There is no plan to sell dollar debt this year,” he said.

The emirate is planning a non-deal roadshow to Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore starting on Nov. 12, Almazrouei said. HSBC Holdings Plc has been hired to arrange the meetings, he said. Abu Dhabi, which hasn’t sold dollar debt since 2009, plans to meet investors in Europe before the year-end, he said. Banks have not been mandated to set up meetings in Europe, he said. The yield on its 6.75 percent bonds due April 2019 fell 114 basis points this year to 2.15 percent at 3:48 p.m. in the emirate.

Abu Dhabi, holder of about 6 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, is home to one of the world’s richest sovereign wealth funds and has Standard & Poor’s third-highest investment grade. The government forecasts economic growth of 3.9 percent this year, compared with 6.8 percent in 2011, as demand for oil weakens.

“The last roadshow we did was in April or May, which was in the U.S,” he said, adding that Bank of America Corp. was hired to set up meetings in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The government holds periodic roadshows to update current and potential bond investors on the emirate’s economic and fiscal data, and about recent events in the Middle East, he said.

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