Al Busaidy Mansoor Jamal & Co.

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AMJ advises Oman government on US$5 billion bond

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Capital Markets

Irish stock exchange

AMJ has advised the government on Omani law aspects of the country’s largest debt capital markets issue to date. The US$5 billion offering in tranches of five, 10 and 30 years was settled on 8 March 2017. The five-year tranche totalled US$1 billion, while the 10- and 30-year tranches raised US$2 billion each. The bonds were offered and sold in reliance on Rule 144A and Regulation S and were admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Order books for the issue which marks the Sultanate’s return to the international debt capital markets after an absence of two decades, reportedly totalled $20 billion, demonstrating strong international demand for Oman’s high-yielding debt.Most long term bonds were taken up by US investors in the United States thereby reducing the impact of Oman’s bond on liquidity within the region while the five year tranche was more in demand with Gulf based investors. The proceeds from the bond sale represent almost the entirety of Oman’s foreign borrowing requirement for 2017 which the government intends to use to cover around two thirds of the country’s expected budget deficit of US$ 7.8 million. The remainder will be covered from state reserves and domestic borrowing.

Mansoor Malik, managing partner, led AMJ’s team supported by senior associate Asad Qayyum. Clifford Chance acted as International Counsel to the government. Bank Muscat, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ICBC Standard, JP Morgan, Société Générale, and Standard Chartered Bank were joint-lead managers for the bond.

In mid-2016, AMJ acted as sole counsel to the government on the Sultanate’s first international US$500 million sukuk issuance, which was privately placed. In two earlier ‘first of a kind’ transactions, AMJ advised the issue manager and joint lead managers on Oman’s debut US$648 million sovereign sukuk in 2015 and on Oman’s first-ever corporate issuance in 2013.