Batelco Group launches $650m bond

Bond launched at a spread of 325 basis points over US Treasuries

Tags: BahrainBatelco Middle East Company
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Batelco Group launches $650m bond Batelco Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed Bin Isa Al Khalifa.
By  Roger Field Published  May 1, 2013

Batelco Group launched a $650 million seven-year bond on Monday.

The transaction, led by BNP Paribas and Citigroup, is the inaugural bond issue for Batelco. The proceeds will form part of the funding requirements for the telco's recently announced acquisition of the Monaco & Islands business units of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC).

The issue was priced at a spread of 325 basis points over seven-year US Treasuries, for a yield of 4.342% and coupon of 4.250% per annum, following a week long roadshow covering the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The pricing, at the tight end of revised price guidance, reflects the strong interest and participation of a well diversified group of global investors, Batelco said in a statement.

The bonds are rated BBB by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

"The transaction attracted a [$4.8] billion order book across 255 accounts with allocations of 38% to Middle East investors, 12% to Asia, 22% to Europe, 27% to UK and the remaining 1% to other investors," the telco said in a statement.

By investor type, the initial split was 48% to asset managers funds, 34% to banks, 8% to private banks, 3% to insurance companies and pension funds, 3% to hedge funds and 4% to other investors. The bonds, which will settle on May 2, 2013, will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, CEO, Batelco Group, said: "The strong demand, attractive pricing and the extremely quick take up of the issue underscores the confidence of the global markets in our strategy, business model and prospects as we grow from a regional operator of reference into a global telecommunications player. In addition, the transaction also highlights our strong credit quality, strengthens our funding mix and provides us with greater financial flexibility."

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