Dubai's Emirates NBD to hold off on Swiss franc bond - sources

DUBAI Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:06am EST

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DUBAI Feb 20 (Reuters) - Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai's largest bank by market value, has opted to delay a potential Swiss franc-denominated bond sale until more favourable market conditions, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The lender had appointed Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas to assess a potential Swiss bond sale, sources told Reuters last week.

"The bank has decided against it," one ENBD source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The timing is not right," the source said, adding the lender could tap the market at a later stage.

A spokesman for the bank was not immediately available for comment.

Emirates NBD has just over 8 billion dirhams ($2.18 billion) in debt maturing this year, including a $1.5 billion loan due in October.

However, there is less urgency surrounding its short-term liquidity needs after the bank received 2.8 billion dirhams ($762 million) as an eight-year loan from the United Arab Emirates'(UAE) finance ministry at below market rates.

The loan was intended to facilitate Emirates NBD's acquisition of struggling Islamic lender Dubai Bank last year.

ENBD reported a sharp fall in profits last week, its second consecutive quarterly profit drop, on higher provisioning for bad loans.

Commercial Bank of Qatar, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Gulf Bank are other Gulf lenders to have tapped Swiss liquidity since 2010.

($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Writing by Rachna Uppal; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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