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BANKING

Abu Dhabi: NBAD sets new FRN record

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s (NBAD) $850m floating rate note sold in December has set a new benchmark for the region’s issuers both in terms of size and spread.

The five-year issue claimed the distinction of overtaking the National Bank of Dubai’s $750 million issue one week earlier to become the largest ever bond from a financial institution in the region, as well as achieving the tightest spread, 32bp over Libor, from the Middle East for this maturity. The National Bank of Dubai’s had been the previous tightest at 39bp.

Bankers are hopeful that 2006 will see even bigger transactions coming to market. NBAD’s issue was the first from their newly arranged EuroMTN programme, which has a total size of $5 billion.

The biggest portion of interest for NBAD’s FRN came from Europe, which accounted for 42% of demand, with the GCC taking 34.5%.

On view

NBAD is the best rated bank in the Middle East, with ratings of A1/A/A. Lead managers Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse First Boston said that they were looking at banks such as the Korea Development Bank and Spain’s Bankinter, rather than other Middle Eastern banks, when they priced NBAD’s deal.

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