First Gulf Bank Files to Sell Debt on Tokyo Pro-Bond MarketFinbarr Flynn and Arif Sharif
First Gulf Bank PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ third-largest lender by assets, registered to sell as much as $1 billion of securities on the Tokyo Pro-Bond Market as it seeks funds to expand.
The program takes effect June 11 and will be valid for a year, according to a statement on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s website. First Gulf Bank, owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, also raised 4.7 billion yen ($46 million) in September from the sale of three-year notes that pay a coupon of 1 percent.
U.A.E. banks are raising money in different currencies to hedge against a possible tightening of the dollar funding market, as occurred during the global credit crisis. First Gulf Bank’s Singapore unit in April set up a $1 billion certificates of deposit program to raise short-term funds, while in March it raised A$250 million ($234 million) from its first sale of Kangaroo bonds.
Bank lending in the U.A.E. is expected to increase by 7 percent to 10 percent in 2014, according to Moody’s Investors Service, after growing 7.7 percent last year. First Gulf Bank reported a 27 percent jump in first-quarter profit to 1.33 billion dirhams ($362 million), beating analyst estimates, as lending grew 4.8 percent.