Hong Kong: Oman is seeking a $3.6 billion five-year bullet term loan from Chinese banks, banking sources said.
Oman’s finance ministry is self-arranging the senior unsecured deal, which pays an interest margin of 190bp over Libor.
Bank of China, China Development Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are the mandated lead arrangers with the latter two also acting as bookrunners on the senior unsecured deal. Banks are being invited to participate at three ticket levels.
Oman government’s borrowing from Chinese financial institutions is for investing in infrastructure facilities, which include several projects in Duqm. The government has already awarded all remaining contracts to complete the work at Duqm port, besides proceeding with a major refinery project with the support of Kuwait Petroleum. All these projects are expected to support economic growth and generate business for the private sector in the Sultanate. Many regional governments support their development projects with the help of deficit financing, which is considered as a prudent policy for economic development.
Mandated lead arrangers with commitments of $500 million or above will earn an all-in pricing of 210bp over Libor based on an upfront fee of 100bp, while lead arrangers coming in for $250 million−$499 million receive an all-in of 206bp over Libor based on an 80bp fee. Arrangers with commitments of $100 million−$249 million get an all-in of 202bp over Libor based on a 60bp fee. Commitments are due by June 2 and signing is scheduled for June 12.
Proceeds are for the Oman government's general budgetary purposes.
The Middle Eastern country's loan follows in the footsteps of a $600 million facility for its sovereign wealth fund Oman Investment Fund, which closed earlier this week. Proceeds back the fund's acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Oman Telecommunications Co.
Banca IMI (London), a unit of Intesa Sanpaolo, Citigroup, Kuwait Finance House and National Bank of Abu Dhabi were the MLABs of that loan, which will mature in April 2020 and pays an interest margin of 230bp over Libor plus a top level participation fee of 60bp for commitments of $50 million or more.
According to the state budget announcement, the country’s projected OMR3 billion deficit for 2017 will be met by way of a OMR2.1 billion overseas borrowing, OMR400 million from the domestic market and OMR500 million by way of drawing on the sovereign fund. The government is depending on overseas market for a major chunk of its borrowing than domestic market to maintain liquidity within the financial system. – Reuters with input from Times of Oman.