Dubai: Dubai companies are set to pick up the pace of bond sales to profit from lower borrowing costs after yields plunged last week at an offering by the emirate, according to the United Arab Emirates' biggest bank.
Sales by Dubai-based entities are likely to surpass last year's $6.95 billion, according to Mohammad Kamran Wajid, head of Emirates NBD's investment banking unit. The government lowered its costs by 40 per cent when it sold 10-year Islamic bonds on January 22, while also raising debut 30-year debt. Emirates, the world's largest airline by international traffic, and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority will probably follow the government's lead, Wajid said.
"Every entity that has been to the market before will be there in the market" this year, Wajid, chief executive officer of Emirates NBD Capital, said in a January 27 interview. "All major debt restructurings are more or less done, the Dubai growth story has always been there and there's a lot of confidence now in Dubai on the debt-management side."
Interest in Dubai's debt has heightened after economic growth accelerated to an estimated 4.3 per cent in 2012, a five- year high, and the real estate industry recovered from one of the world's worst property-market crashes. Issuers in Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the UAE, will take advantage of lower yields to boost cash, diversify their investor base and find alternatives to bank lending, Wajid said.
Credit default swaps for the city, which is home to the world's tallest skyscraper, dropped by more than half in the past year to 210 basis points on January 25, according to data provider CMA, which is owned by McGraw-Hill and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately negotiated market. The average for Middle East contracts fell 78 basis points, or 0.78 percentage point, to 248 in the same period.
Dubai's swaps were little changed on Monday. Emirates NBD helped arrange seven bond sales in the six-nation GCC in 2012, making it the 15th biggest underwriter, data compiled by Bloomberg show. So far this year, it's taken part in the Dubai government's two sales, and is among six banks mandated by Emirates, which started an investor roadshow on Monday for its first bond issuance since June 2011.