UAE telecom operator Etisalat plans premature euro bond sale; Sources

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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UAE-based multinational telecom services operator Etisalat is reportedly planning to enter the international bond market in the coming days ahead of a $1.45 billion (1.2 billion euro) bond maturity in June. 

According to a reliable source, the euro-denominated bonds are expected to be sold as soon as this week. The telecom giant has not issued bonds since its debut sale in 2014.

Etisalat and its representatives have not offered any comments regarding the matter. As per the reports, two euro-denominated tranches worth $1.44 billion (1.2 billion euros) each and two US dollar-denominated tranches worth $500 million each were part of the transaction. One of the euro tranches is due on June 18, 2021.

The Gulf has seen a surge of debt sales so far this year, as borrowers in the oil-dependent area take advantage of cheap rates and abundant global liquidity to shore up finances hit by the pandemic-induced downturn.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), which is held by the Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ, was marketing a two-tranche US dollar bond offer. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Equate Petrochemical Company has announced plans to issue new seven-year dollar bonds.

According to the reports, Qatar, which sold $10 billion in bonds last year, and Abu Dhabi, which raised $15 billion in total last year, are among the few issuers that have yet to enter the markets.

Recently, Etisalat has teamed up with the Ministry of Community Development to introduce a first-of-its-kind web extension aimed at making the World Wide Web more user-friendly for autistic people.

Related: UAE telecoms regulator embraces new identity in line with digital shift

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