DUBAI May 15 Qatar International Islamic Bank
(QIIB), Qatar’s third largest listed Islamic bank by
assets, has appointed banks ahead of a potential U.S.
dollar-denominated sukuk, banking sources familiar with the
matter said on Monday.
The bank's Islamic bond sale is not likely to occur before
Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month that this year starts near the
end of May, one of the sources said.
QIIB did not respond to telephone calls and emails seeking
The planned bond sale would follow the bank's decision in
April to renew a sukuk issuance programme of up to $2 billion.
Qatari banks have been among the least resilient to the
slump in crude prices that has hit Gulf Cooperation Council
economies since late 2014 and has trickled down to an increase
in loan to deposit ratios in the regional banking system,
according to a report by credit rating agency Moody's Investors
Service in March.
A stabilisation of oil prices in the range of $40 to $60 per
barrel, however, is expected to ease Qatari banks' funding
conditions, Moody's said.
QIIB's sukuk would follow a dollar Islamic bond by Qatar
Islamic Bank, the largest Islamic lender in the
country, which is expected to launch a five-year benchmark
transaction this week.
A third Qatari Islamic lender, Masraf Al Rayan,
has also mandated banks for a dollar sukuk, as reported by
Reuters in January, but the deal is on hold because of the legal
and regulatory implications of a potential merger of the lender
with two other Qatari institutions, Barwa Bank and International
Bank of Qatar.
The talks, revealed last December, could lead to the
creation of the largest Islamic bank and second largest bank in
the Gulf state.
(Editing by Jane Merriman)