January 24, 2019 / 2:04 PM / 4 months ago

Qatar banks weigh U.S. dollar bond issuance from Q1 onwards -sources

DUBAI, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Qatar banks are expected to issue U.S. dollar bonds from this quarter onwards, hoping to take advantage of any easing in global volatility casued by geopolitical tensions, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Qatar National Bank, the largest bank by assets in the Middle East and Africa, and Qatar Islamic Bank have all held talks with banks about potential issues during the first quarter, the sources said.

In an emailed statement Commercial Bank said: “We have a U.S. dollar bond maturing in Q2 2019 (June 2019) and plan to do a replacement issuance around the maturity date of this bond.”

The sources said some of the banks had been holding off from tapping bond markets as they seek to secure a more favourable price, and hope for more clarity on the trade row between the United States and China and Britain’s departure from the European Union.

QNB and Qatar Islamic Bank didn’t immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

It has been a relatively quiet start to the year for regional bond markets. Saudi Arabia, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank are the only main issuers to date, with the latter two issuing sukuk.

Qatari banks have moved to widen their funding sources since a political dispute erupted in June 2017 between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, opting for private placements in different currencies, alongside more traditional public bond issues. (Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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