* Emirates launches 12-yr amortising bond, avg life 7 yrs
* Bond launched at 300 bps over 7-yr midswaps
* Pricing due later on Thursday
* Dubai sovereign sukuk under pressure
DUBAI, Jan 31 Emirates airline,
Dubai's flagship carrier, launched a $750 million 12-year
amortising bond on Thursday, with final pricing due later in the
day, arranging banks said.
The bond, which matures in 2025 but carries an average life
of seven years, launched at 300 basis points over seven-year
midswaps, at the wider end of guidance released on Wednesday.
Order books were reportedly over $1.6 billion at around 0800
GMT, IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters reported.
Market sources indicated that weakness in credit markets may
have affected the borrower's ability to price at the tighter end
of guidance. Moreover, regional deals normally benefit from a
solid Gulf bid but the unusual amortising structure of the bond
may have found limited appeal among local investors.
An amortising bond is structured in a way that gradually
reduces the value of the bond over a fixed period of time,
meaning the borrower pays off the full amount before the final
The issue will begin to make coupon payments from February
2015, a document from arranging banks said.
Emirates' deal follows a substantially oversubscribed
two-part bond offering from the Dubai government last week,
allowing the sovereign to price the transaction at some of the
lowest borrowing costs available to it.
However, the $750 million 10-year sukuk, carrying a profit
rate of 3.875 percent, was under pressure this week, trading
below its par issue price.
The sukuk was bid at 98.6 cents on the dollar
on Thursday afternoon, according to Thomson Reuters data. It had
been trading even lower on Wednesday.
The underperformance is a result of aggressive pricing, a
weak market and general pressure on sovereign borrowers, bankers
and traders told IFR Markets.
Emirates last issued a bond in June 2011, with the $1
billion instrument currently trading to yield around 3.2 percent
, about 20 basis points wider than where the
company announced plans to tap markets.
It has also sold Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates
(EETCs) in the last year, which are similar to a form of secured
debt financing, like mortgages.
Citi, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD
, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and
Standard Chartered are lead arrangers on Emirates'