(Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates raised $1.5 billion from a bond sale on Monday, marking the country’s return to international debt markets for the first time in well over a year.
The 10-year security priced at 60 basis points over Treasuries of similar maturity, according to a person familiar with the matter who’s not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The sale had an order book of more than $6.8 billion, the person said.
The government planned to raise at least $1 billion through the sale, Bloomberg News reported last week. The UAE, comprised of seven emirates including oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi and commercial hub Dubai, sold the first bond in its half-century history as a combined federation in 2021.
The country, which also raised $3 billion from a bond sale in June 2022, has been pushing to develop its position as a global hub for business and finance, especially as it faces growing regional competition from larger neighbor Saudi Arabia.
The country is looking to accelerate economic growth as it seeks to double its gross domestic product to over $800 billion by the end of the decade. The nation saw its economy expand almost 8% in 2022, thanks in part to higher crude prices and production. This year, the International Monetary Fund projects GDP growth will slow to 3.5%.
The nation’s debt is rated Aa2, the third-highest investment grade, by Moody’s Investors Service, and one step lower at AA- by Fitch Ratings.
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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Mashreq and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. are working on the deal.
(Updates with pricing details. A previous version of the story corrected the timeframe of when the UAE last sold dollar bonds.)
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