$ 750 m sukuk: Saudi developer closes 1st tranche

Updated 26 May 2013

$ 750 m sukuk: Saudi developer closes 1st tranche

Bank Alkhair has announced the successful close of the first tranche of a $ 750 million sukuk program established by Dar Al Al-Arkan Real estate Development Company (Dar Al-Arkan), a major residential real estate developer in Saudi Arabia.
Bank Alkhair jointly led the sukuk program, which is based on the Islamic Wakala structure. The program was established to fund Dar Al-Arkan’s current and upcoming development projects. Bank Alkhair also acted as the Shariah adviser of the program.
The first issue, a benchmark sized, 5-year, Regulation S issue (Reg S), was offered to the market on May 20. The sukuk, which offers investors a coupon of 5.75 percent, received an overwhelming response from regional and international investors and was significantly oversubscribed. Dar Al-Arkan opted to close the first issue at $ 450 million on May 21, despite it being almost 4 times oversubscribed, with overall book order reaching up to $ 1.68 billion.
Bank Alkhair, Deustche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Emirates NBD Capital were the joint bookrunners of the transaction.
Commenting on the successful close of the first tranche, Ikbal Daredia, head of Bank Alkhair’s global capital markets division, said: "The oversubscription of the issue demonstrates increasing investor appetite for sukuk and for quality issuers like Dar Al-Arkan."
Yousef Al-Shelash, chairman of Dar Al-Arkan, said: "The success of this sukuk issue is a testament to investor confidence in Dar Al-Arkan’s solid business model and Saudi Arabia’s robust economy."
Standard & Poor's Ratings Service is expected to assign a rating of "B+" to the issue. Standard & Poor’s recently affirmed Dar Al-Arkan’s B+ credit rating and revised its outlook to positive from stable due to the company’s resilient operating performance.
The sukuk, which was issued through the Dar Al-Arkan Sukuk Company Ltd., marks Dar Al-Arkan's fourth international sukuk issue to date.

Industry-specific ban on expats in Oman likely to remain, despite reaching recruitment target

Updated 42 min 47 sec ago

Industry-specific ban on expats in Oman likely to remain, despite reaching recruitment target

  • The Oman government imposed a recruitment ban on expats for 87 different lines of work in January
  • The initial target of recruiting 25,000 Omanis by May is almost reached, not the government is likely to double that number

DUBAI: Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has pledged to continue in its push to recruit locals over expats even after its target was reached, the Times of Oman has reported.

The government set itself a deadline of May, but it was already just 55 jobs shy of the 25,000 target, the report added, predicting that the remaining people would be appointed before the week was over.

Now the government is looking to double the target to 50,000 Omanis.

More than half of those recruited are men, according to government data, with male appointments accounting for 16,884, while 8,061 women were recruited during the same period. 

A ban on hiring expats in 87 professions was implemented in January as the Gulf country continued in its Omanization project, aimed at tackling high levels of unemployment among locals. 

And now the ministry has said Omanis should always be given priority over expats, when it came to hiring – adding that the ban would stay in force as long as there were Omanis suited to the positions.

Those people employed so far were appointed to private sector positions between December 2017 and April 2018, the report added.



The construction industry accounts for 32.4 percent of those recruited, with 14.5 percent going into the retail sector, 13.5 percent in manufacturing and 7.1 percent working in transportation.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower said: “Most Omanis were hired in the construction sector as it has lots of job vacancies especially in the engineering, technical and administration fields.”

The push in Oman to recruit more locals is in line with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries which are following similar projects, not least in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.




An extension to the expat recruitment ban?

Not only is Oman’s Ministry of Manpower considering extending the current recruitment ban on expats for 87 professions, but also adding other lines of work to the list.


In numbers

The most recent census in 2016 put the Oman population at: 4,550,538. But expats account for nearly half at 2.082 million. There are 2.463 million Omanis