Marafiq plans debut riyal bond

Updated 26 March 2013

Marafiq plans debut riyal bond

DUBAI: Marafiq, a utility services provider to two industrial cities in Saudi Arabia, may conduct a debut local currency bond issue after picking HSBC's Saudi Arabian arm to advise it on raising new corporate debt.
"It is likely to be a debt capital markets transaction," a company spokesman told Reuters by email in response to questions. He said HSBC had been appointed to advise on the fund-raising but that a target amount had not yet been decided.
The company, which counts SABIC and Saudi Aramco as shareholders, will use the money for general business activities, three banking sources told Reuters yesterday.
Should Marafiq choose the capital markets route, a deal would likely surface either late this year or early in 2014, one of the sources said. Traditionally, it can take a number of months between deciding to complete a maiden bond deal and coming to market, given the lengthy documentation process.

Saudi companies looking to raise funds have increasingly turned to the Kingdom's debt capital markets as they aim to diversify funding sources away from bank loans and take advantage of high investor liquidity.
National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) is considering a debut Islamic bond issue to help refinance debt taken on for its $ 1.3 billion acquisition of Saudi Aramco's marine unit last year, sources told Reuters earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Savola Group 2050.SE, Saudi Binladin Group, Almarai and Sadara Chemical Company have all priced this year or are in the process of printing local currency sukuk deals.
Marafiq's last fundraising was a SR 4.5 billion ($ 1.2 billion) long-term Islamic loan, signed in February 2012 with five Saudi banks, to help fund its expansion plans. HSBC was also financial adviser on that transaction.
Marafiq is tasked with providing water, wastewater and power services to the industrial cities of Jubail, on the eastern coast of the Kingdom, and Yanbu, on its western coast.


China suspends planned tariffs on some US goods

Updated 22 min 5 sec ago

China suspends planned tariffs on some US goods

  • Chinese tariffs were supposed to target goods ranging from corn and wheat to vehicles and auto parts
  • Beijing agreed to import at least $200 billion in additional US goods and services over the next 2 years

SHANGHAI: China has suspended additional tariffs on some US goods that were meant to be implemented on Dec. 15, the State Council’s customs tariff commission said on Sunday, after the world’s two largest economies agreed a “phase one” trade deal on Friday.
The deal, rumors and leaks over which have gyrated world markets for months, reduces some US tariffs in exchange for what US officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.
China’s retaliatory tariffs, which were due to take effect on Dec. 15, were meant to target goods ranging from corn and wheat to US made vehicles and auto parts.
Other Chinese tariffs that had already been implemented on US goods would be left in place, the commission said in a statement issued on the websites of government departments including China’s finance ministry. “China hopes, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to work with the United States, to properly resolve each other’s core concerns and promote the stable development of US-China economic and trade relations,” it added.
Beijing has agreed to import at least $200 billion in additional US goods and services over the next two years on top of the amount it purchased in 2017, the top US trade negotiator said Friday.
A statement issued by the United States Trade Representative also on Friday said the United States would leave in place 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.