MANAMA: Bahraini retail lender BBK will not launch its planned benchmark bond issue until market conditions stabilize, its chief executive said on Monday.
The bank held investors meetings in May with a view to a potential benchmark US dollar Eurobond issue under its existing euro medium term notes (EMTN) program.
Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat reopened Gulf Arab bond markets by issuing a five-year $750 million bond in late June after the market was hit by the European debt crisis, raising the prospect other issuers from the region could follow.
"Mumtalakat saw a window so they issued," AbdulKarim Bucheery told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference, saying that markets were still too volatile. "As of now the window is closed, the slump in stock exchanges over the past week is a clear indication of the problems and that things slow down," he said.
Global equities fell for the fourth day running on Monday on growing concerns of slowdowns in the United States and China.
Bucheery also said the potential bond issue would help the bank refinance debt coming due in March 2011 and that BBK was therefore in no hurry to issue.
BBK’s investor meetings were arranged by HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.