Qatar bond appeal intact with $12bn return to market

Qatar - West bay

Qatar – West bay

Qatar’s appetite for jumbo bond deals seems insatiable, with the gas-rich nation raising $24bn in less than a year.Qatar sold $12bn of bonds after attracting around $50bn in demand as it took advantage of a pause in US interest-rate increases that has sent investors flocking to emerging-market debt this year.In the process, the country eclipsed its neighbour Saudi Arabia which sold $7.5bn of international bonds in January. Qatar, whose debt carries the fourth-highest investment grade of AA- at S&P Global Ratings, also raised $12bn in April, days after the kingdom sold $11bn of bonds.

Emerging-market borrowers are racing to soak up renewed appetite for risk, boosting sales to $336bn this year through March 5, a record on a year-to-date basis, according to Bloomberg league tables.The world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas was weighing plans to tap international bond markets to cement its status as a regular issuer, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

“They are running fairly large surpluses and don’t really need the money,” said Edwin Gutierrez, a London-based money manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, who was buying the new debt.Qatar is keen to maintain its relationship with international markets. Borrowers in the country have been using different sources of financing after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017.Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Credit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank AG, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered Plc arranged the sale. The bonds will be listed in Luxembourg and Taipei.

Sources and photo-credits: Bloomberg, Gulf Times