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Qatar announces comeback deal

[LONDON] The State of Qatar is set to make its first foray into the international bond markets since a spat with Doha's Gulf neighbours erupted last year.

Qatar will meet investors in the UK and US from April 9 to April 11 ahead of issuing issue five, 10 and 30-year US dollar notes.

In June Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and imposed an economic boycott, protesting against Qatar's relationship with Iran.

No Qatari borrower has since accessed the mainstream US dollar market, although debut issuer Mannai Corp is on the road marketing a deal.

Market voices on:

"I guess most of the questions will be about geopolitics, and if anything has changed materially," said one London-based portfolio manager.

For investors, there should be no problem with participating in the deal irrespective of the bigger political issues. Although some banks have been treading carefully in the region, fearful that close ties with Doha could hurt business relations with Saudi Arabia, investors are likely to be far less sensitive, especially given the potential yield on offer.

The 30-year leg will also benefit from a Taiwan listing.

"You can expect Taiwan onshore guys to play in size there, in addition to the normal guys," said a banker. "There is definitely demand for this credit, the fundamentals are very strong, and relative to some of their Double A peers they trade wide." The notes are expected to be rated Aa3/AA-/AA-.

Qatar was last in the bond market in June 2016, raising US$9b through the same five, 10 and 30-year structure.

Al Khaliji, Barclays, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered are joint leads and books.