Dubai’s biggest bank targets $1.76 bln rights share sale

Dubai’s biggest bank is seeking to raise 6.45 billion dirhams ($1.76 billion) from a rights share offering as it expands abroad and courts more foreigners to its stock.

The state-controlled Emirates NBD PJSC plans to offer 758.8 million shares at 8.5 dirhams each, it said in a statement. That compares with its closing price of 13.15 dirhams on October 16 and represents a discount of about 35 percent. The issue opens November 10 and will close November 20.

The shares dropped 3.8 percent at 12.65 dirhams at 11:31 a.m. in Dubai, dragging the exchange’s benchmark index 1.4 percent lower. For the year, the shares are up more than 40 percent.

Emirates NBD last year proposed selling new shares to help fund the acquisition of Turkey’s Denizbank AS. The lender plans to use the proceeds of the sale to strengthen its capital base and support growth, according to Thursday’s statement.

Lenders in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are trying to broaden the base of their investors as a combination of low oil prices, slowing economic growth and geopolitical upheavals drain inflows.

Emirates NBD last month raised the cap on foreign ownership holding in its shares to 20 percent from 5 percent, with plans to seek shareholders’ approval to double the new limit. It also raised raised 305 million pounds ($373 million) from the sale of a stake in London-listed Network International Holdings Plc.

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Emirates NBD Capital PSC, the bank’s investment banking unit, is managing the rights share offering, while Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, Clifford Chance LLP and Matouk Bassiouny & Ibrahim are acting as advisers.

Source: Bloomberg