Kuwait Said to Meet Investors Ahead of $9.5 Billion Debut Bond

  • Officials to travel to U.S. and U.K. for roadshow next month
  • Country could sell first international bond as early as March

Kuwait will meet investors in the U.S. and U.K. next month as part of plans to raise as much as $9.5 billion in its first international debt sale, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Government officials will travel to London, New York, Boston and Los Angeles between March 5 and March 12, said the person, asking not to be identified as the information is private. A sale could be completed by the end of March or early April, the person said.

The country hired six banks including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and HSBC Holdings Plc as lead managers for the sale, people familiar with the matter said last month. Deutsche Bank AG, Standard Chartered Plc and NBK Capital were hired as advisers, they said.

Kuwait is selling bonds as the country expects a budget deficit of 7.9 billion dinars ($26 billion) in 2017/18, compared with 9.7 billion dinars in 2016/17, according to deputy Prime Minister Anas Al Saleh. The government said in July it may raise as much as $10 billion from global debt markets. The country is rated AA at S&P Global Ratings, the third-highest investment grade.

Ministry officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Neighboring Gulf states including Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia raised more than $48 billion in sovereign bond sales last year -- the most since at least 2007 -- to finance their budget deficits, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bond sales in the Middle East and North Africa region more than doubled to nearly $80 billion in 2016, according to the data.

Kuwaiti officials will visit investors in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore between February 12 and February 17, Al-Anba newspaper said last week, citing government sources.