May 31, 2018 / 1:11 PM / a year ago

Oman's electricity firm seeks advisers for $1.2 bln financing -sources

DUBAI, May 31 (Reuters) - Oman’s state-owned Electricity Holding Co. has approached banks to advise it on a capital expenditure programme worth around $1.2 billion, banking sources said on Thursday.

This would be the latest Omani foray in the international debt markets and another sign of a growing reliance on external funding after its finances were hit by a slump in oil prices.

The state company, known as Nama Holding, has sent a request for proposal to banks this week for what would be the third and final phase of a borrowing programme worth almost $6 billion, the sources said.

Bank Muscat and JPMorgan advised Nama, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, for the first two phases of the fundraising exercise.

Nama holds the Omani government’s stake in nine electricity firms, according to its last annual report.

As part of the first two phases of the programme, aimed at boosting the country’s distribution and transmission network, several electricity firms raised long-term funding through a combination of loans and bonds.

Mazoon Electricity and Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), two Nama subsidiaries, last year each issued 10-year $500 million international bonds, while other firms, including Majan Electricity Company and Muscat Electricity Distribution Company, issued long-term syndicated loans.]

During the first phase of the capex programme, completed in 2016, Nama subsidiaries borrowed a total of more than $2.5 billion, while the second phase raised around $2 billion. (Editing by Alexander Smith)

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