Saudi Telecom hires banks for debut dollar sukuk

The sukuk — the size of which will depend on market conditions and demand — are part of the Saudi Telecom’s $5 billion sukuk program. (Reuters)
Updated 25 April 2019

Saudi Telecom hires banks for debut dollar sukuk

  • Saudi corporates are increasingly expected to tap the international debt markets
  • Saudi Arabia’s biggest telecommunications operator has applied to list the sukuk with the Irish Stock Exchange

DUBAI: State-run Saudi Telecom has hired six banks to arrange its first issue of US dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds, the company said on Thursday.
Saudi corporates are increasingly expected to tap the international debt markets following the inclusion of Saudi government and quasi-government debt in key JP Morgan emerging market bond indexes this year.
The recent jumbo inaugural bond by state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco has also attracted new interest in Saudi borrowers, and has provided a fresh pricing benchmark for future issues by state-backed entities.
HSBC, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered, Samba, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and KFH have been hired as lead banks for the planned deal.
Saudi Arabia’s biggest telecommunications operator said it had applied to list the sukuk with the Irish Stock Exchange.
The sukuk — the size of which will depend on market conditions and demand — are part of the company’s $5 billion sukuk program, established last month to back general corporate purposes.


Oil up after drone attack on Saudi field, but OPEC report caps gains

Updated 19 August 2019

Oil up after drone attack on Saudi field, but OPEC report caps gains

LONDON: Crude oil prices rose on Monday following a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility by Yemen’s Houthi militia and as traders looked for signs of progress in US-China trade negotiations.
Price gains were, however, capped to some degree by an unusually downbeat OPEC report that stoked concerns about growth in oil demand.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up 85 cents, or about 1.4%, at $59.49 a barrel at 1225 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.01, or 1.8%, at $55.88 a barrel.
A drone attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia on an oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday caused a fire at a gas plant, adding to Middle East tensions, but state-run Saudi Aramco said oil production was not affected.
“The oil market seems to be pricing in again a geopolitical risk premium following the weekend drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, but the premium might not sustain if it does not result in any supply disruptions,” said Giovanni Staunovo, oil analyst for UBS.
Iran-related tensions appeared to ease after Gibraltar released an Iranian tanker it seized in July, though Tehran warned the United States against any new attempt to seize the tanker in open seas.
Concerns about a recession also limited crude price gains.
Meanwhile, China’s announcement of key interest rate reforms over the weekend has fueled expectations of an imminent reduction in corporate borrowing costs in the struggling economy, boosting share prices on Monday.
US energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in seven weeks despite plans by most producers to cut spending on new drilling this year.
“WTI in recent weeks has performed relatively better than Brent... Pipeline start ups in the United States have been supportive for WTI, while the ongoing trade war has had more of an impact on Brent,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at Dutch bank ING.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.10 million bpd and indicated the market would be in slight surplus in 2020.
It is rare for OPEC to give a bearish forward view on the market outlook.
“Such a bearish prognosis will heap more pressure on OPEC to take further measures to support the market,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.