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Four foreign banks have recently been mandated to arrange a US$150mn syndicated loan for Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank (FGB).

The mandated lead arrangers are Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Gulf International Bank (GIB), Standard Chartered Bank and Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank. The facility is being raised for general purposes and has a tenor of three years. It has a margin of 40bp over Libor.

Capital Intelligence, a credit rating agency, recently raised the long-term and the financial strength rating (FSR) of FGB to BBB from BBB-. The short-term foreign currency rating however remained unchanged at A3, giving a stable outlook.

FGB is on a fast track in terms of profits, which were seen in the range of 80% during the first half of 2004, reaching Dh101.8mn compared to the same period last year. Its assets more than tripled over the last three years to nearly US$2bn at end of 2003. 

According to Capital Intelligence, the bank has a good risk management and credit controls, while the bulk of its new corporate lending is directed to large, top-tier institutions in the public and private sectors.
FGB’s net worth doubled in June 2004 with the injection of new funds, substantially strengthening its capitalisation ratio.