Bahrain Taps Bond Market for First Time Since $10 Billion Bailout Package


(Bloomberg) — Bahrain is tapping the international bond market about a year after it secured a bailout package from its wealthier neighbors. The island kingdom won’t raise more than $2 billion from the sale of dollar-denominated debt, which includes Sharia-compliant securities due 2027 and a conventional bond due 2031, according to a person familiar with the matter, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The deal may price today.

Details of Bahrain’s bond offering:

  • Sukuk due 2027 to yield around 4.75% versus initial price thoughts of between 4.875% and 5%
  • Bond due 2031 to yield between 5.75% and 5.875% versus indicative price range of 5.875% to 6%

The potential issuance comes amid a sudden surge in debt sales by frontier and emerging sovereigns after the cost of borrowing declined. On Monday, Abu Dhabi raised $10 billion and South Africa finalized its biggest-ever debt deal.

If Bahrain goes ahead with the sale on Tuesday, it would be its first since Gulf Arab allies pledged $10 billion in aid in October to help stabilize the nation’s fragile finances. It delayed an offering earlier this year.

BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Gulf International Bank, JPMorgan Chase, National Bank of Bahrain and Standard Chartered are managing the offering.

Bahrain is rated B+ by S&P Global Ratings, four notches below investment grade.


–With assistance from Netty Ismail and Arif Sharif.

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