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Containers are seen at Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Port
Containers are seen at Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port

By Yousef Saba

Nine banks provided the facility, with Citi and First Abu Dhabi Bank having lead roles in the transaction, the first source said on condition of anonymity.

The source added that HSBC and Standard Chartered were also involved in the loan for the company, which is owned by Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ.

Abu Dhabi Ports, FAB, HSBC and Standard Chartered did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. Citi declined to comment.

Issuers in the Gulf have been raising debt, seeking to benefit from low rates as the region emerges from an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and last year’s oil price plunge.

Abu Dhabi Ports was also likely to issue bonds soon, the second said. Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings both assigned the company an A+ credit rating on Thursday.

ADQ, which sovereign wealth fund tracker Global SWF said last month was worth $110 billion, has gained prominence in the past year as Abu Dhabi consolidated several government assets under its banner.

Another ADQ subsidiary, power utility TAQA, raised $1.5 billion in a bond deal last week. Food and beverages group Agthia, also owned by ADQ, mainly used bank debt to finance its acquisition of three quarters of Egypt’s Ismailia Agricultural and Industrial Investment.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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