NatWest Markets Plc, Banco Santander S.A. to sell 5.6% of SABB

Citigroup Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia announced receiving a notification from NatWest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A. about the proposed secondary sale of up to nearly 116 million ordinary shares. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 01 December 2020

NatWest Markets Plc, Banco Santander S.A. to sell 5.6% of SABB

NatWest Markets Plc, Banco Santander S.A. to sell 5.6% of SABB
  • Citigroup Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia are acting as joint bookrunners and joint brokers for the deal

DUBAI: Citigroup Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia announced receiving a notification from NatWest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A. about the proposed secondary sale of up to nearly 116 million ordinary shares, or 5.6 percent of The Saudi British Bank (SABB).

Citigroup Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia are acting as joint bookrunners and joint brokers for the deal.

HSBC Holdings B.V. and Olayan Saudi Investment Company Limited have showed interest in participating in the placing at a price of SAR 22.10 ($5.89) per share through purchasing 36.99 million and 42.37 million shares, respectively; highlighting the long-term strategic nature of their shareholdings in SABB.

The respective affiliates of the joint bookrunners, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International, have agreed where applicable, following pricing of the sale, to acquire the shares from NatWest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A., by way of negotiated deals following which the shares will be sold at the offer price by Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International to end-investors through negotiated deals.

The initial sale of the shares to Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International and the onward sale of the shares to end-investors will each be recorded as separate trades on Tadawul.

The placing will launch immediately following this announcement.

The placing shares may be sold to institutional investors inside and outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including to institutional investors outside the US in accordance with Regulation S under the US Securities Act of 1933 and to qualified institutional buyers in the United States in accordance with Rule 144A under the Securities Act.

Under the terms of the placing, Natwest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A. have agreed not to dispose of any remaining shares that they own in SABB for a period of at least 90 days.

The foregoing shall not apply to the sale of shares pursuant to the Placing, or a sale or transfer by Natwest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A. of equity securities of SABB, other than a sale or transfer involving a general or public offer or distribution of equity securities, provided that the buyer or transferee shall give a written undertaking to Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs International to comply with the above restrictions applicable to NatWest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A. for the remainder of the above lock-up period.

SABB will not receive any proceeds from the placing.

The transfer of shares remains subject to the results of the accelerated bookbuild process, the execution of the negotiated deals with the potential end-investors and the successful settlement of such transactions.

Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia and Citigroup Saudi Arabia will announce any further material developments, including the amount of shares, if any, being sold and the sale price thereof, the statement added.

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France wants end to US-Europe trade spat

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat
Updated 17 January 2021

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat
  • All eyes on President-elect Biden to resolve disputes between partners

PARIS: The EU and the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden should suspend a trade dispute to give themselves time to find common ground, France’s foreign minister said in remarks published on Sunday.

“The issue that’s poisoning everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology and Airbus,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview.

He said he hoped the sides could find a way to settle the dispute. “It may take time, but in the meantime, we can always order a moratorium,” he added.

At the end of December the US moved to boost tariffs on French and German aircraft parts in the Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute, but the bloc decided to hold off on retaliation for now.

The EU is planning to present a World Trade Organization (WTO) reform proposal in February and is willing to consider reforms to restrain the judicial authority of the WTO’s dispute-settlement body.

The US has for years complained that the WTO Appellate Body makes unjustified new trade rules in its decisions and has blocked the appointment of new judges to stop this, rendering the body inoperable.

The Trump administration, which leaves office on Wednesday, had threatened to impose tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other goods in retaliation for France’s digital services tax, which it said discriminated against US tech firms.

Overturning decades of free trade consensus was a central part of Trump’s “America First” agenda. In 2018, declaring that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he shocked allies by imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from most of the world.

While Trump later dropped tariffs against Australia, Japan, Brazil and South Korea in return for concessions, he kept them in place against more than $7 billion worth of EU metal. The bloc retaliated with tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of US goods, from orange juice and blue jeans to Harley Davidson bikes, and took its case to the WTO.

While Biden promises to be more predictable than Trump, he is not expected to lift the steel tariffs immediately. Even if he wants to, he could run into reluctance from producers in “rust belt” states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania that secured his election win.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of trade think tank ECIPE, said the US was unlikely to award Europe a “free pass,” noting that countries that had offered concessions to have their tariffs lifted could complain if Europe won better treatment.

Resolving future trade disputes could become easier, if Biden reverses Trump policy that paralyzed the WTO by blocking the appointment of judges to its appellate body.