The government will start investor roadshows on Wednesday for sale of US dollar-denominated sukuk and euro bonds, hoping to start the pricing and book-building process later in the week and complete the transactions by November 29, a top official said on Tuesday.
The government had decided to launch both sukuk and euro bond simultaneously and roadshows would be arranged to brief potential investors in coming days, Shahid Mehmood, secretary finance told The News before his departure to Dubai for the roadshow. The transactions will hopefully be accomplished on November 29, 2017 in New York.
The federal cabinet has already accorded an approval for the simultaneous issuance of Euro bond and sukuk in its last meeting. The country last borrowed $1 billion in the global sukuk market at 5.5 percent in October 2016. The country also floated a 10year Eurobond of $500 million at 8.25 percent in 2015.
Mehmood said the size of the bonds would depend on availability of money at good price but government hoped to raise up to $3 billion from both the issues. Investor meetings will start on November 22 in Dubai. Meetings in London are scheduled for November 23 and 24, while they are due in Boston on November 27 and New York on November 28. Secretary Finance and central bank governor will spearhead roadshows.
The government appointed a consortium of Standard Chartered Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Bank as lead managers for conducting sukuk transactions. It delegated Noor Bank with a responsibility to manage sukuk bond in the Middle East.
Names of Standard Chartered Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citibank and Deutsche Bank have also finalized for the eurobond issue. US finance service firm Standard and Poors (S&P) posed trust on the countrys repayment ability as well as its essential elements to underpin issuance of Islamic bond, backed by assets.
Our opinion is based on the underlying assets, consisting of a highway with all construction, superstructures, flyovers, and interchanges made on the date of the agreement, S&P said in a statement. We therefore equalise our rating on the program with our foreign currency issuer credit rating on Pakistan.
Analysts said the ongoing political instability could cast shadow over the proposed issuance of both the bonds and the roadshows officials are cognisant with the investors uneasiness about political situation. It is well prepared to brief investors about the ongoing sit-ins by religious parties in Islamabad, another government official said.
The planned bond issuance will give some respite to the alarming balance of payment situation due to widening current account deficit. The current account deficit swelled to $12.439 billion, equivalent to 4 percent of GDP in FY2017, much above 1.7 percent in FY2016. SBP projected current account deficit at 4 to 5 percent of GDP during the current fiscal year.
Analysts warned that current account deficit indicates a strained balance of payment position with weakening foreign exchange reserves. The foreign exchange reserves held by SBP fell to $13.678 billion at the end of the week ended November 10. Given the latest uptrend, the gap may reach $15 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, Mohammad Sohail, chief executive officer at Topline Securities said.
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