Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), rated Aa3/Stable by Moody’s, priced its inaugural benchmark-sized Dim Sum bond in the offshore Renminbi market on 2 March 2018.
The $100mn (630 million Chinese Renminbi) 3-year fixed rate bond matures on 13 March 2021 and offers investors an annual coupon of 4.7%. This is the first ever Dim Sum bond issuance by a supranational issuer from the Africa and Middle East region, and marks the first time APICORP has accessed this fast-growing market. The transaction attracted strong interest from several high-quality Asian investors, enabling APICORP to meet its diversification, issue size and pricing objectives.
With this issuance, APICORP was able to fulfil several of its key objectives including: continuously expanding APICORP’s funding sources; pioneering the Africa and the Middle East region’s diversification efforts by becoming the first ever supranational organisation in the region to price a Dim Sum bond, which followed APICORP’s first ever Formosa bond issuance priced in 2016; and showcasing the wide investor appeal for its credit across markets, currencies and formats.
The transaction also marks a strategic step forward for APICORP in becoming a regular issuer in global markets, and positions the credit alongside its multilateral development bank peers.
Commenting on the deal, Dr Ahmed Attiga, CEO, APICORP, said: "Since APICORP’s inaugural US$ benchmark public sukuk issuance in 2015, we have seen strong demand for our credit from Asia. I am pleased that this issuance has enabled APICORP to further diversify its investor base by targeting a niche pool of Asian liquidity, while also establishing APICORP as the first supranational issuer from Africa and the Middle East to access the Dim Sum market. We remain committed to exploring other efficient and cost-effective financing solutions via the international capital markets.”
Chao Li, managing director, head of bond syndicate, Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “As the leading manager of Dim Sum bond issues, Standard Chartered is proud to be working with APICORP again on another landmark transaction. The resounding success of the APICORP’s offshore Renminbi bond offering reflects the strong investor confidence in the APICORP credit and growth story.”
Standard Chartered Bank acted as sole lead manager and book-runner for the transaction, which is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and rated by Moody’s Investor Services.