UPDATE 1-Qatar Telecom to raise $1 bln from 10-yr bond sale

Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:22am EST

* Final guidance at UST+175-180 bps

* Bond seen pricing Wednesday

* Demand high; orders worth more than $11 bln - IFR (Adds details, background)

DUBAI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Qatar Telecom (Qtel), the majority state-owned telecoms operator, is looking to raise $1 billion from a ten-year bond, lead arrangers said on Wednesday, in its first bond market foray in more than two years.

Final price guidance for the bond, maturing February 2023, has been set at a spread of between 175 - 180 basis points over U. S. Treasuries, a document released by lead arrangers showed, and the bond will price within this range.

Guidance tightened from indications earlier in the day due to strong demand for the bond. Order books were north of $11 billion at 1000 GMT, according to IFR Markets, a Thomson Reuters unit.

Top Gulf corporates are taking advantage of tightening spreads by raising money from the bond markets to meet their expansion and refinancing needs.

The former monopoly, rated A by Standard & Poor's, which last tapped global debt markets for $2.75 billion in the fourth-quarter of 2010, is expected to price the bond on Wednesday.

Yields on its existing bonds have fallen significantly, reducing Qtel's borrowing costs.

Qtel has been raising stakes in its subsidiaries, taking advantage of the gas-rich Gulf state's healthy financial position at a time when other large telecom firms are shying away from deals.

It increased its stake in Iraqi telco Asiacell and Kuwaiti affiliate Wataniya this year.

Qtel also hired J.P. Morgan Chase to advise it on a potential bid for Vivendi's Maroc Telecom, sources told Reuters earlier in December.

Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Mizuho Securities, Morgan Stanley Inc and QNB Capital as lead arrangers and bookrunners for the deal. (Reporting by Mala Pancholia; Editing by Dinesh Nair)