Dual Options

The Central Bank is tipped to use more than one investment bank in its quest to raise US$ 350 mn via debt for the country.
Around 12 international investment banks and international debt arrangers had earlier made some 40 proposals on how best to structure the issue. rn

rnBut the list has now been narrowed down to a few possible contenders including, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Solomon Smith Barney with their local counterparts Citibank, UBS Warburg, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers, capital market sources said.

The latter two are believed to be interested in working together on the issue, despite making separate bids, though it could not be confirmed.rn

rnThose who lost out of the race are believed to be HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston and Nomura Securities. rn

rnThe exact structure of the issue has not been finalised yet, but the Central Bank has said it is looking to raise funds for between three to five years.

The bank also has the option of raising the monies through a mix of a syndicated loan and floating rate notes. rn

rnThe final list of prospective lead managers is due to come out later this week, once key monetary board and finance ministry officials return from overseas.rn

rnThe joint lead arrangers will then prepare a prospectus and arrange a roadshow for the issue.

The government is keen to tap the markets by end-October to enable funds to come in by end-November.rn

rnThe debt issue will not carry a credit rating. rn