Alhokair completes SR500m debut sukuk

Updated 28 June 2014
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Alhokair completes SR500m debut sukuk

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. has completed a SR500 million ($133 million), five-year sukuk issue, its first issue of an Islamic bond, the company said in a bourse filing.
Alhokair, which franchises brands such as Zara and Marks and Spencer in the Kingdom, did not give the pricing of the sukuk, which was sold in a private placement to investors in Saudi Arabia.
In late May, the company said it was also close to signing an agreement with a group of banks for a loan worth SR1 billion to repay existing loans and finance expansion. Samba Financial Group's investment banking arm arranged the sukuk sale.


Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

Updated 47 min 26 sec ago
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Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

  • The project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP
  • It will include investments of about $700 million

TUNIS: Tunisia will almost double production of natural gas to about 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, the industry and energy minister, Slim Feriani, told Reuters on Friday.
The country’s gas output will jump from 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) when the southern Nawara gas field comes onstream in June, Feriani said.
“We will raise our production by about 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent when the Nawara project in the south will start,” Feriani told Reuters in interview.
This project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP with investments of about $700 million.
Feriani also said Tunisia was seeking to attract about $2 billion in foreign investment to produce 1,900 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in three years. “We will start launching international bids for the production of renewable wind and sun energy. We aim to produce 1,900 MW by investment of up to $2 billion until 2022,” he said.
This would represent about 22 percent of the country’s electricity production.
PHOSPHATE
Tunisia also plans to raise production of phosphate from 3 million tons to 5 million in 2019, he said.
Raising the output will boost economic growth and provide revenue to revive its faltering economy, the minister said.
Phosphate exports are a key source of foreign currency reserves, which have dropped to levels worth just 82 days of imports, according to Tunisia’s central bank.
Tunisia produced about 8.2 million tons of phosphate in 2010 but output dropped after its 2011 revolution. Annual output has not exceeded 4.5 million tons since 2011.
Feriani said lower production has caused Tunisia to lose markets and about $1 billion each year.
Phosphate exports were hit by repeated protests in the main producing region of Gafsa, where unemployed youth demanding jobs blockaded rail transport.