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Best Middle Eastern borrower: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

The Emirates bank has developed an international investor base through a multi-currency EMTN programme.

The world’s best borrowers in 2006

Eirvan Knox, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Knox, ADCB: strong interest in the bank’s debt

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is one of a rare breed: a Middle East borrower that understands the importance of the international capital markets. Over the past year, Abu Dhabi’s second-biggest bank has raised funds in several currencies, using different structures, as it leads the way for the region’s borrowers. The bank’s funding strategy is three-fold, according to chief executive Eirvin Knox: to diversify its investor base, to lengthen the tenors of its bonds and to keep the cost of borrowing as low as possible. For that reason the bank made the decision last year to source its funds exclusively in the international capital markets. “In the past, we focused on domestic funding sources,” says Knox, “but it’s difficult to borrow beyond six months domestically.”

Last June it made its debut in the international capital markets (the first such issue by any Abu Dhabi financial institution) when it launched a $900 million, five-year FRN.

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