Bank of Sharjah given green light to increase debt programme to $1.5bn

Bank of Sharjah got the nod from its shareholders to increase the size of its debt programme to $1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) as the lender looks to issue tier one bonds to shore up capital.

The Bank of Sharjah, which is part-owned by the government, raised the size of its Euro Medium Term Note programme from $1bn, which was originally established January 2017, it said in a statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares trade. The size of the EMTN programme may be increased to $2.5bn at a later date, it added.

The bank also received shareholders’ approval for the issuance of an additional tier 1 bonds for an aggregate amount not exceeding $500 million or its equivalent in other currencies. They also authorised the board to determine the transaction structure of the tier 1 issuance, without saying when it plans to sell the bonds.

The issuance of senior unsecured notes or subordinated notes, as well as issuance of other debt securities by the bank, is subject to approval, the bank said.

The Bank of Sharjah was earlier said to be in talks for a three-way merger with fellow lenders Abu Dhabi-listed United Arab Bank and InvestBank. The banks later denied the reports.

The banking and financial sector in the UAE, the region’s second-biggest economy, is going through a wave of consolidation, especially in Abu Dhabi, which has revamped its economy, merging state-backed companies including two of its main investment arms.

Updated: July 8, 2019 02:03 AM