(Bloomberg) -- The largest oil producer in the United Arab Emirates is preparing to sell its first bonds as the energy-rich country pushes plans to diversify its economy and attract international investors.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is creating a new entity to become its primary vehicle for selling debt, the company said in a statement. Adnoc Murban, as the issuer will be known, was assigned a AA rating with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s.
Adnoc said the new entity “intends to closely monitor market conditions and explore potential funding opportunities.” Adnoc Murban will conduct introductory meetings with fixed-income investors starting Tuesday ahead of an expected debt sale this year, according to a mandate. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are coordinating the meetings.
The UAE, the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is looking to build industries like manufacturing and technology that will help it cut reliance on oil income. Adnoc, whose borrowings have so far been limited to bank loans, has been leading the push to attract foreign investors by selling stakes in some of its businesses to partners and listing units on the stock exchange.
Tapping the bond market will give the company another tool for raising cash and potentially more flexibility to extend its debt maturities. The Abu Dhabi government in 2020 sold a 50-year bond, the longest maturity of any Gulf government debt.
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