Qatar National Bank (QNB) has launched a $1-billion five-year bond at 235 basis points over midswaps, with pricing expected shortly, arranging banks said. The launch price was tighter than initial guidance of 245 basis points over midswaps, issued earlier on Tuesday, indicating strong appetite for the issue, the first from a Qatari name this year. Barclays Capital, Citigroup, HSBC, Standard Chartered and QNB Capital are arranging the issue. Two market sources said order books were in excess of $3 billion for the deal. “The bond hasn’t left a lot on the table for investors. It’s a buy to hold story,” said one regional fixed income trader. “The issue should be well-received overall because of the strong credit quality, but I would be surprised if it pops too much higher in the secondary.” QNB’s existing $1.5 billion 3.125 per cent bond maturing 2015, was bid at just over 100 on Tuesday, to yield 3.053 per cent according to Thomson Reuters data. It was trading at a swap spread of just over 220 basis points. The new bond will be the debut issuance under QNB’s $7.5 billion programme, which it set up in August to fund its banking operations.