Dubai said to prepare for bond sale as Gulf Arabs rush to market

Dubai may be close to following its neighbors to the international bond market this year, according to people with knowledge of the emirate’s plans. The government will first update its euro medium-term note program before appointing banks for a potential offering, which may surpass $1 billion, two people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The EMTN program may be released as soon as June, they said. Dubai’s Department of Finance didn’t respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment outside of office hours. Governments across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are tapping international capital markets after the price of oil, the region’s main source of income, slumped by more than half in the past two years. Qatar surprised investors with a $9 billion sale last week, a record for the Middle East, while Abu Dhabi issued $5 billion in April. Saudi Arabia is said to be considering fundraising of as much as $15 billion in 2016, people familiar with the matter said. Dubai, whose economy relies more on tourism, retail and real estate than oil, tapped international bond markets publicly in April 2014 with a $750 million sukuk due in 2029, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Given the emirate’s push to become a global capital for the Islamic economy, the new sale may also comply with Shariah law. (By Archana Narayanan and Arif Sharif/Bloomberg)

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