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UPDATE 1-Bahrain prices $750 mln 7-yr benchmark sukuk

Wed, 16th Nov 2011 18:04

DUBAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Bahrain priced a $750 million seven-year Islamic
bond, or sukuk, at a profit rate of 6.273 percent on Wednesday, in line with guidance.

The Gulf state, hit by political upheaval earlier this year, had earlier indicated price talk of 450 basis points over midswaps.

Investor meetings for the bond ended on Tuesday. BNP Paribas , Citi, and Standard Chartered are arranging the deal.

Bahrain had initially looked to sell a $1 billion conventional bond at the beginning of the year but, having invited banks to pitch for roles on the transaction, was forced to postpone plans amid political unrest affecting the kingdom and the wider Arab region.

By switching to the Islamic structure, analysts have said Bahrain was hoping to attract more demand from regional investors, mainly from Saudi Arabia.

It last tapped the international debt market in March 2010, when it printed a $1.25 billion 10-year bond.

Earlier this week, Indonesia priced a 7-year $1 billion sukuk at 4 percent, while several other Gulf issuers are also looking to tap Islamic liquidity before the end of the year.

(Reporting by by David French) Keywords: BAHRAIN SUKUK/

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