January 23, 2018 / 6:33 AM / 9 months ago

Qatar asks banks for proposals on first dollar bond issue since diplomatic crisis: sources

DOHA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar has sent out a request for proposals to banks to arrange an international bond issue, which would be Qatar’s first appearance in the international debt markets since the beginning of a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf last year.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5 last year, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha vehemently denies the charges.

The government of Qatar issued its last international bond in 2016, raising $9 billion through the debt sale. There is no clarity on the size of the upcoming, potential bond sale, but banking sources say Qatar will likely raise a similar amount.

A spokesman for the government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Governments in the Gulf have been borrowing huge amounts of money internationally over the past few years to refill their coffers, hit by a slump in oil prices.

Qatar’s request for proposal (RFP) comes just after Saudi Arabia’s RFP, sent out to banks last week, for the refinancing of an outstanding $10 billion syndicated loan and for further U.S. dollar-denominated bond sales.

Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Tom Arnold; Writing by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Sam Holmes

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