UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's TAQA picks five banks for dollar bond

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:19am EST

Related Topics

* BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, NBAD and StanChart picked - spokesman

* Deal before yr-end, subject to board assent, market conditions

* May issue bonds to refinance debt - CEO

* TAQA has $1.75 bln in bonds maturing 2013 (Adds detail, background, CEO quote)

By Stanley Carvalho

ABU DHABI, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) has mandated five banks for a dollar-denominated bond which could be issued before the end of the year, a spokesman for the company told Reuters on Monday.

TAQA has picked BNP Paribas, Citigroup Inc, HSBC Holdings, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered for the bond, the spokesman said.

"Subject to approval from our board of directors and favourable market conditions, we may proceed with an issuance this year," the spokesman added without elaborating on specific details.

The company, which is 75-percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is due to report its third-quarter earnings later this week, following a board meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

TAQA is a regular issuer of debt in global markets and benefits from implicit backing from the Abu Dhabi government as one of its strategic firms. Abu Dhabi holds over 90 percent of the UAE's oil reserves, with the seven-member federation one of the world's largest oil exporters.

TAQA last tapped global debt markets in December last year with a $1.5 billion two-tranche bond to refinance debt.

Chief Executive Carl Sheldon told Reuters on Monday that the company would issue bonds if the pricing was attractive.

"The spreads have tightened against other sovereign-related entities. We have two maturities next year and if we can get the issue at the right pricing, we will (sell bonds)," Sheldon said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

The company has a $1 billion bond coming due in August and a $750 million note maturing in October , according to Thomson Reuters data.

Separately, sources told Reuters on Monday that TAQA is in advanced talks to buy a stake in an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan by taking a majority interest in General Exploration Partners (GEP). (Writing by Rachna Uppal; Editing by David French)

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