May 15, 2017 / 12:00 PM / 2 months ago

Qatar International Islamic Bank appoints banks for dollar sukuk - sources

DUBAI, May 15 (Reuters) - 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 comment.

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)

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