UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank eyes $500 mln sukuk in Q1 2012 - source

Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:13am EST

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By Stanley Carvalho

ABU DHABI, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank has picked three banks to arrange its debut Islamic bond, or sukuk, three sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, with the deal expected to emerge in the first quarter of 2012, one of them added.

Standard Chartered, HSBC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi have been mandated by unlisted Al Hilal for a benchmark-sized deal under a bond programme which could be worth up to $3 billion, one source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The Islamic lender, wholly-owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), is in the process of getting ratings for the bank and the potential notes, and expects this to be completed before the year-end, said the source.

"The bank is looking at a programme of $1 to $3 billion in total, the first tranche will be $500 million with an issuance likely in first quarter 2012," the source said, asking not to be identified as the information was not yet public.

Set up in 2008, the bank earned its first profit of 140 million dirhams ($38.12 million) in 2010. The lender was one of two Abu Dhabi banks to subscribe to a $5 billion bond under the Dubai government's $20 billion bond programme late in 2009, during the Dubai's debt crisis.

Al Hilal has an authorised capital of 4 billion dirhams and a paid-up capital of 2 billion dirhams. It also set up Kazakhstan's first Islamic bank last year.

Two other Abu Dhabi banks are seen issuing a sukuk before the end of the year.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has picked banks for an Islamic bond which could launch this week, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank kicks off roadshows later this week for a potential benchmark-sized bond. A benchmark bond is usually $500 million. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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