Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), the Gulf state’s third-largest lender by assets, is in talks with banks about a syndicated loan of up to $500 million, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Raising money through a loan was one option open to the bank, which was also considering bonds as part of its normal funding pattern, one of the sources said.
Qatari banks have been looking to diversify their funding sources since June last year when Qatar became locked in a dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. The rift involved the latter four cutting diplomatic and transport ties with Doha and led to banks from those countries pulling funds out of Qatar.
CBQ Group Chief Executive Joseph Abraham told Reuters in September that the bank was considering borrowing on the Taiwanese bond market. One of sources Reuters spoke to said CBQ was also considering other bond markets such as Australia.
Qatar National Bank, the largest bank in Qatar and the Middle East completed a 700 million Australian dollar Kangaroo bond. A few days earlier the bank had issued a $720 million, 30-year Formosa bond, a bond sold in Taiwan by foreign issuers and denominated in currencies other than the Taiwanese dollar.
One of the sources said CBQ would push ahead with either bonds or a loan or both, adding that the loan could range between $200 million to $500 million.