ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners acts as Kuwait legal counsel to the dealers and joint lead managers on the establishment of National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) GMTN Programme and inaugural US$750 million issuance

Kuwait – 30 May, 2017: ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR), Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier law firms, is pleased to have acted as Kuwait law counsel to Citigroup Global Markets Limited, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, HSBC Bank plc, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, Standard Chartered Bank, and Watani Investment Co. K.S.C.C. (who collectively acted as dealers and joint lead managers), on the establishment of a US$3 billion Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) programme (the Programme) by NBK SPC Ltd and its inaugural Rule 144A/Regulation S international debt capital markets issuance thereunder. The Programme is unconditionally guaranteed by National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P. (NBK).

The inaugural offering comprised US$750 million 2.75% notes due 2022, issued on 30 May 2017 and admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange. The offering constituted the first bonds to be offered and sold to qualified institutional buyers in the United States of America in reliance on Rule 144A and Regulation S from a GCC financial institution. The offering of the notes was well received and attracted considerable demand from global investors, with the global order book closing at US$2.2 billion resulting in an oversubscription rate of approximately 2.9 times. U.S. based invested dominated the subscription with a 57% share of the notes issuance, followed by investors in the MENA region (26%), the EU investors (13%) and Asian investors (4%).

Mr. Rob Little – Counsel at ASAR noted that: “We are delighted to have been involved in the establishment of NBK’s GMTN Programme and its inaugural issuance thereunder. We have a long and established history of acting as Kuwait law counsel in high quality debt capital market transactions, and this transaction issuance yet again no exception.”

Mr. Ibrahim Sattout – Partner at ASAR noted that: “The successful conclusion of this transaction is the result of the hard work of all parties involved in this landmark transaction for NBK, and is a testament to our firm’s capability as a leading specialist in providing legal counsel in the debt capital markets space”

Also commenting on the transaction, Mr. John Cunha – Partner at ASAR noted that: “This has been a landmark transaction for NBK and we are particularly happy to see that it was so well received by global investors. We are very happy with the success of NBK’s debut issuance under its GMTN programme; it is a testament to the efficient and hard work of all parties involved in the transaction. ASAR has a long established history of acting on precedent setting note issuance transactions and this current transaction is no exception”

With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with bespoke, practical legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, Bahrain, across the GCC and beyond.

The firm has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by reputable legal guides such as the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), Chambers Global Guide, and the Legal 500. In 2016, ASAR was awarded with the IFLR National Law Firm of the Year Award; an award which ASAR has been delighted to receive for the 8th consecutive year.