HONG KONG: Pakistan has mandated four banks to arrange fixed income investor meetings starting Monday ahead of a potential issue of a US dollar-denominated Islamic bond, a document from lead managers said on Sunday.
The sovereign, rated Caa1 by Moody’s and B- by Standard & Poor’s, has picked Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered to arrange the roadshows and the possible deal, it showed.
Pakistan will hold roadshows in the United Arab Emirates on Monday, before heading to London and Singapore on Tuesday, with a 144A-compliant, benchmark-sized sukuk to follow, subject to market conditions, the document added.
Benchmark size is traditionally understood to mean upwards of $500 million. If a debt issue is 144A-compliant, investors in the United States can buy the offering.
The sukuk uses a sharia-compliant sale and lease-back structure to underpin the transaction. Proceeds will be used to purchase land comprising the M-2 Motorway, which connects Lahore to Islamabad.
Political instability in Pakistan had temporarily caused some uncertainty around the sovereign sukuk issue as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came under pressure from weeks of demonstrations calling on him to resign.
Pakistan, a favourite with frontier market investors since peaceful elections were held there last year, sold $2 billion of dollar-denominated bonds in April after attracting $7 billion in investor orders.
In September 2013, the IMF saved Pakistan from possible default by agreeing to lend it $6.7 billion over three years.
The sukuk will be issued by Pakistan International Sukuk Company and is expected to be listed in the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Pakistan’s external debt was about 19 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on June 30 and it had a fiscal deficit of 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2013-2014, it showed.