DUBAI Jan 5 Kuwait's Equate Petrochemical
(IPO-EQUP.KW) is expected to launch in the first quarter, and
potentially as soon as this month, a U.S. dollar sukuk issue,
sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
The potential sukuk issue would be part of the company's $2
billion sukuk programme, and would follow Equate's debut $2.25
billion conventional bond sale last October.
The petrochemical producer, a joint venture involving
Petrochemical Industries Co and the Dow Chemical Co, has
not officially appointed banks to manage the sukuk sale, but the
banks which led Equate's previous bond transaction are very
likely to arrange the new deal, the sources said.
Telephone calls to Equate's offices in Kuwait seeking
comment were not answered.
The company's $2.25 billion bond, consisting of a $1 billion
long five-year bond maturing in 2022 and a $1.25 billion 10-year
bond, was arranged by Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan and NBK Capital.
In June 2016 Equate took out a $5 billion syndicated loan,
while in 2015 it raised $6 billion of bridge financing, which
was mostly used to pay for the acquisition of the petrochemical
company MEGlobal from Dow Chemical. The $6 billion loan was
arranged by Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan, Kuwait Finance House and
National Bank of Kuwait.
Kuwait Finance House, a sharia-compliant lender, could be
involved in Equate's sukuk issue alongside its international
relationship banks, said one source.
In December, Moody's gave a Baa2 rating to Equate's sukuk
programme, which matches the issuer rating of Equate itself.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia)