Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim Holding, sole franchisee of hypermarket chain Carrefour in the Gulf, plans to set up a medium term notes program, potentially worth up to $4 billion, two sources said on Monday.
Standard Chartered and Barclays have been picked to arrange the bond program, said the sources who are familiar with the discussions.
"Majid al Futtaim is establishing a program within the next five days that will be somewhere between $2 billion and $4 billion," said one of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"They will likely then consider when to launch a bond from that based on when the Dubai government comes out."
Dubai's government is conducting a road show for a potential bond this week.
A second source added that the company, one of the largest mall developers in the Gulf, was establishing a conventional bond program. Both sources confirmed that Standard Chartered and Barclays were arranging banks.
Daniele Vecchi, senior vice president for treasury at MAF said on Monday the company was working on establishing a bond program but declined to elaborate.
MAF's primary subsidiary is MAF Properties, which develops and manages shopping malls, hotels and master-planned communities across the Gulf. It plans to spend $3.5 billion up to 2015 on four new malls.
Borrowers in the United Arab Emirates, which has largely been shielded from the regional political unrest, are seeing the current narrowing spreads as an attractive invitation to tap global liquidity amid strong investor demand.
Earlier this month, Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates issued $1 billion priced at the tighter end of guidance.
"My gut feeling is that the government of Dubai pushed out their schedule (to issue a bond) slightly. The thought is let the government go first and push out a new credit curve," the first source said.
"But they are in a close enough position to strike out with a bond if they needed."