IFR-Dubai Investments Park debut bond could be marker for region

Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:28am EST

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LONDON, Feb 12 (IFR) - A debut bond issuance by Emirati firm Dubai Investments Park could set a marker for other sub-investment grade corporates in the Middle East, bankers said.

The company, rated BB by Standard & Poor's, completes roadshows in Singapore on Wednesday via Al Hilal Bank, Citigroup, Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD.

A Reg S senior unsecured U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk transaction may follow subject to market conditions.

If the market remains as strong as it was on Tuesday, the deal may price by Thursday. Guidance could be released as early as Wednesday morning to give Islamic investors time to get their orders approved internally.

In the absence of an existing curve, investors are looking at Emirati peer Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) as the closest peer, one banker said.

"Jafza is the natural peer, albeit a bigger entity. It has the same business model and is a cashflow-generative business like DIP," he said.

Like Jafza, DIP is a real estate firm with long-term lease contracts, a business model that carries less risk than an outright property developer, he said.

Jafza has a 7 percent 2019 note trading at a yield of 4.016 percent and spread of 231 basis points over mid-swaps, according to Tradeweb data. Despite the recent sell-off in emerging markets, the note is trading 12.7 bps tighter than at the start of the year on a yield basis.

"It's good to see a new issuer come to market and especially one in the sub-investment-grade space. I think there will be other such issuers from the MENA region, looking at the spending and growth prospects for the region," one rival banker said.

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