AUB to repay US$ 400 million of debt
Ahli United Bank (AUB) today announced it is set to repay US$ 400 million of US$ 1.2 billion syndicated loan by the end of August 2009, well ahead of its final maturity date. The 3-year US$ 1.2 billion loan facility was signed during October 2006 with a total of 51 international banks participating, and represented at the time the largest financing deal ever secured by a bank in the Middle East.
The early repayment of the US$ 400M of the existing facility demonstrates the Bank's strong liquidity position, solid capitalisation and confidence in sustaining
growth despite the current economic downturn. The US$1.2 billion loan will be refinanced by the 2-year US$ 800m forward start facility which was signed in September 2008. The new syndicated facility, the first ever forward start loan in the EMEA market and the largest sum raised by a GCC bank in 2008, closed substantially oversubscribed on an initial launch amount of US$ 500 million. This was achieved despite being launched in the midst of an extremely adverse market conditions which challenged the ability of many financial institutions to raise funds. As a result, the deal drew particular praise by the international financial community and was cited as the “Best Middle Eastern Loan for Financial Institutions” by Euroweek, the leading global capital markets
“The overwhelming success of the two mega financing deals in 2006 and late 2008, reflects the Bank‟s ability to raise funds at competitive terms in both favourable and unfavourable times. This speaks volumes of AUB‟s standing and leading reputation within the international financial community, and the underlying confidence this community has in our strategy, management focus and long term financial outlook”, said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, Ahli United Bank.
AUB‟s businesses consist of the base operation in Bahrain and network of subsidiary and managed associate banks in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Iraq and the United Kingdom. Bank‟s performance has earned it a string of international acclaims over the years. Most recently, AUB won the „Best Bank in the Middle East‟ award by New York-based Global Finance for the fourth consecutive year.