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Dubai’s Noor Bank may sell debut sukuk after setting up $3 bln programme

The Islamic bank added it "may consider a benchmark Reg S sukuk issuance", although it did not specify a timeframe.

DUBAI, April 14 (Reuters) – Noor Bank may conduct a benchmark-sized sukuk issue after setting up a $3 billion Islamic bond programme, the Dubai-based lender confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday, with banking sources indicating the sale could happen as early as this month.

“Noor Bank has confirmed that they have today established (a) $3 billion sukuk trust certificates issuance programme to be listed on NASDAQ Dubai,” the bank said in a statement to Reuters.

The Islamic bank added it “may consider a benchmark Reg S sukuk issuance”, although it did not specify a timeframe.

Benchmark size is traditionally understood to mean upwards of $500 million, while offerings compliant with Regulation S cannot be sold to onshore investors in the United States.

The statement from Noor Bank came after three sources aware of the matter told Reuters that the sharia-compliant bank might schedule meetings with fixed income investors to discuss the potential sukuk issue as soon as this month.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity, as the information isn’t public.

Noor Bank said its sukuk programme had been arranged by itself as well as Citigroup and Standard Chartered.

Those three banks would be joined by Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD and Sharjah Islamic Bank as bookrunners for the debut sukuk transaction, according to the banking sources.

Noor Bank, set up in 2008, counts state funds Investment Corporation of Dubai and Dubai Holding among its owners. (Reporting by Archana Narayanan; Editing by Andrew Torchia)