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Pakistan said to mandate dollar bond

Singapore: Pakistan has mandated a dollar bond offering to take place sometime in the first quarter, according to bankers not involved in the transaction.

Further details on the offering, including the names of the banks that may be involved, could not be confirmed. The deal may happen as early as this quarter.

The sovereign first circulated a request for proposals last year as it looked to return to the dollar market after a 7-year absence.

With Caa1/B- ratings, Pakistan could become the lowest-rated sovereign from Asia to issue dollar bonds.

It may have an incentive to return to the market after Sri Lanka, rated B1/B+/BB-, priced a well received $1 billion 5-year bond earlier this week. A long list of deals from other frontier markets in the past year may also be prompting the issuer to consider a dollar deal.

Pakistan last visited the dollar market in May 2007. That deal, its last in international markets, was popular with US investors, which were allocated nearly 3 per cent of the paper.

Pakistan has been flirting with the financial markets since last year, and not only with a bond offering. In December, it launched its first syndicated loan in nearly 15 years.

Source: Reuters

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