Qatari telecommunications firm Ooredoo has launched a $1.25 billion, five-year sukuk, the firm’s first Islamic bond, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The sukuk is to be issued by Ooredoo Tamweel Limited, a special purpose vehicle wholly owned by Ooredoo Q.S.C. Ooredoo is rated A2 by Moody’s, A by S&P and A+ by Fitch.
The benchmark-sized US dollar sukuk will mature on Dec. 3, 2018 and have a profit rate of 3.039 percent, the statement added.
“Net proceeds from the sale of the sukuk will be used by Ooredoo for general corporate purposes including re-financing existing indebtedness,” it said.
The settlement of the offering is expected to occur on Dec. 3, 2013.Benchmark-size typically refers to debt issues of $500 million or above.
Dr. Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Group, said “the strong demand we saw for Ooredoo’s first sukuk from investors demonstrates the strength of Ooredoo’s business and the growing maturity of sukuk certificates as a debt instrument in the global financial markets. The sukuk further diversifies our investor base and enhances our financial flexibility to execute our business strategy.”
Last week the company announced it had hired Singapore’s DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Qinvest and QNB Capital - a unit of Qatar National Bank - to act as joint lead managers and bookrunners. Settlement is expected on Dec. 3, the statement said.
In November 2012, Ooredoo, then called Qatar Telecom, signed its first Islamic financing facility, an 18-month, $500 million murabaha structure.
Ooredoo is a leading international communications company delivering mobile, fixed, broadband Internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses across markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. As a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential. Ooredoo has a presence in markets such as Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Palestine, the Maldives and Indonesia. The company reported revenues of $9.3 billion in 2012 and had a consolidated global customer base of more than 92.9 million people as of Dec. 31, 2012. Ooredoo’s shares are listed on the Qatar Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
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