Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi sold $10 billion of bonds in a three-part deal in its first international offering in two years as it takes advantage of relatively low borrowing costs.
The emirate sold $3 billion of five-year fixed notes, $3 billion of notes due 2029 and $4 billion of 30-year notes. The sovereign — which boasts a rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and AA from S&P Global Ratings — didn’t need to offer an extra premium to its yield curve to attract investors.
The emirate is taking advantage of investor demand for high-quality debt amid concern about the US-China trade war and slowing global growth. Its credit rating is among the strongest in the Middle East and Africa, and the cost to insure its debt against default is the lowest in the region.
“With a fortresslike balance sheet, they can afford to come to market at minimal or no concession,” Patrick Wacker, a fund manager for emerging-market fixed income at UOB Asset Management Ltd. in Singapore, who bought the bonds to diversify his investments. “We like the sovereigns’ very strong fundamentals.”
Still, Abu Dhabi paid an additional yield premium of around 10 basis points on its bond due 2024 compared with Qatar’s debt of similar maturity. The gas-rich nation is rated one level lower than Abu Dhabi by the three major rating companies.