Saudi Aramco begins marketing first sukuk issue

Saudi Aramco begins marketing first sukuk issue
1 / 2
The oil company said it had mandated several banks ahead of the planned debt sale. (Supplied)
Saudi Aramco begins marketing first sukuk issue
2 / 2
Saudi Aramco told Tadawul that it had selected a group of financial institutions to organize a series of meetings with investors to market the bonds. (Getty Images)
Short Url
Updated 08 June 2021

Saudi Aramco begins marketing first sukuk issue

Saudi Aramco begins marketing first sukuk issue
  • A group of 13 banks are involved in the process, including some of the biggest names in finance

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has begun the process of issuing a multibillion-dollar tranche of sukuk (Islamic bonds) on international capital markets.

The company told the Saudi Tadawul that it had selected a group of regional and global financial institutions to organize a series of meetings with investors to market the bonds. A group of 13 banks are involved in the process, including some of the biggest names in global finance.

The Tadawul filing said that the proceeds from the issuance of the bonds — in the form of trust certificates — “will be used by Saudi Aramco for general corporate purposes or for any other purpose specified in the final terms for a series of trust certificates.”

The offer price, rate of return and maturity of the bonds will be determined by market conditions decided by the conversions with investors.

Some reports said that Aramco would look to raise $5 billion from the issue, but the company declined to comment on the exact size or other terms of the issue.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Some reports said that Aramco would look to raise $5 billion from the issue, but the company declined to comment on the exact size or other terms of the issue.

• It is the first time Aramco has looked to raise capital on international markets in sukuk form, and reflects international appetite for Islamic bonds.

• Analysts expect that some of the issue could be used to help pay the group’s promised dividend, amounting to $75 billion, pledged in the 2019 initial public offering.

It is the first time Aramco has looked to raise capital on international markets in sukuk form, and reflects international appetite for Islamic bonds.

Analysts expect that some of the issue could be used to help pay the group’s promised dividend, amounting to $75 billion, pledged in the 2019 initial public offering.

The lenders listed among those mandated during a series of meetings on Monday included Alinma Invest, Al Rajhi Capital, BNP Paribas, Citi, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, NCB Capital, Riyad Capital, SMBC Nikko and Standard Chartered Bank.

It may offer three tranches of notes due in three, five and 10 years, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Saudi Aramco raised $8 billion in November from another non-Shariah-compliant debt sale. That followed a $12 billion sale a year earlier.

In March, Aramco announced the highest profit of any oil company in the world despite what chief executive Amin Nasser called an “unprecedented and difficult” year.

The company made $49 billion in 2020, when oil prices fluctuated more than at any time for decades, and demand plummeted in the pandemic recession. Free cash flow stood at $49 billion in 2020.

Aramco is one of several major Saudi companies expected to take part in the “Shareek” initiative to direct investment funds into the Kingdom’s multitrillion-dollar strategy to diversify the economy away from oil dependency.

Oil prices have recovered significantly since the depths of last year, with Brent crude trading above $71 per barrel on Monday.


Saudi holdings of US treasury bills rose for 2nd month in a row

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills rose for 2nd month in a row
Updated 19 September 2021

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills rose for 2nd month in a row

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills rose for 2nd month in a row
  • The Kingdom is the 16th largest holder of US debt

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s holding of US Treasury securities increased for the second consecutive month in July, reaching $128.1 billion, according to new data from the US government.

The holdings increased by 0.2 percent from June, and 2.8 percent from July last year. However, the Saudi holdings in July is down by 5.2 percent from the beginning of the year when it was $135.1 billion, the data showed.

This increase in June and July is in line with global trends, as countries around the world increased their holdings by 5.7 percent in the two months leading up to July.

However, analysis showed that Saudi holdings are still down from their peak of $184.4 billion in February 2020. As the global pandemic took hold in March last year, the Saudi government decreased its holding, as the Kingdom’s reserves were hit by the collapse in oil prices.

In July last year, Saudi Arabia began to boost its holdings once again, peaking in November and then continuing to decline by low single percentages till May 2021.

The Kingdom is the 16th largest holder of US debt. Japan remains No.1 with $1310.2 billion in US bonds, followed by China ($1068.3 billion), the UK ($539.5 billion), Ireland ($319.7 billion) and Switzerland ($298.3 billion).

The UAE holds $58 billion, an increase of nearly 100 percent year-on-year. Kuwait holds $46.4 billion, down by 3.1 percent year-on-year.


Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi family plans recovery after $7.5bn debt deal

Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi family plans recovery after $7.5bn debt deal
Updated 19 September 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi family plans recovery after $7.5bn debt deal

Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi family plans recovery after $7.5bn debt deal
  • It comes after successful negotiations over its $7.5 billion in debt since 2009 – a case many experts saw as a test for Saudi Arabia’s new bankruptcy law

DUBAI: The Algosaibi family is looking to restore some of its businesses after its landmark deal with creditors last week, Bloomberg has reported, citing the conglomerate’s chief restructuring officer, Simon Charlton.

In an interview, Charlton said the company was looking “where it would make the most sense and at what sort of level to return to the market.”

It comes after successful negotiations over its $7.5 billion in debt since 2009 – a case many experts saw as a test for Saudi Arabia’s new bankruptcy law.

Under the deal, Ahmah Hamad Algosabi & Brothers Co (AHAB) will repay its creditors 26 percent of their claim values through a mixture of cash, shares, and Saudi real estate.

“Our hope is that as the company emerges from this and gets access to credit and is back into the credit markets and will be able to raise working capital finance, we’ll be able to rebuild those businesses,” Charlton said.

AHAB will retain most of its operating manufacturing businesses, he added, including logistics, hospitality, and retail.


Aramco’s Wa’ed invests in online gifts marketplace Joi Gifts

Aramco’s Wa’ed invests in online gifts marketplace Joi Gifts
Updated 19 September 2021

Aramco’s Wa’ed invests in online gifts marketplace Joi Gifts

Aramco’s Wa’ed invests in online gifts marketplace Joi Gifts
  • The funds will be used to drive short-term growth, with initiatives including awareness campaigns and product development

DUBAI: The entrepreneurship unit of Aramco, Wa’ed, was one of the investors in Joi Gift’s recent funding round that gained $2.5 million in proceeds.

Joi Gifts is an online marketplace for gifts, which operates in eight countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, and Egypt.

Dubai-based Knuru Capital also participated in the Series A funding round, the startup said in a statement.

The funds will be used to drive short-term growth, with initiatives including awareness campaigns and product development. The company is also planning further regional expansion, after it announced its eighth country market earlier this year.

“We are thrilled with this investment, which enables Joi Gifts to further enhance and improve what is already the MENA region’s leading online one-stop shop for gifts,” Rami Kahale, Joi Gifts chief, said.

The company said the UAE and the Kingdom had some of the highest average spend on gifts globally, which contributes to its success.


Huawei to pump $15m into Middle East’s cloud computing market

Huawei to pump $15m into Middle East’s cloud computing market
Updated 19 September 2021

Huawei to pump $15m into Middle East’s cloud computing market

Huawei to pump $15m into Middle East’s cloud computing market
  • The investment, to be deployed over the next three years, will benefit more than 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing their cloud capabilities

DUBAI: Technology giant Huawei announced a $15 million investment to promote the use of cloud computing in the Middle East.

The investment, to be deployed over the next three years, will benefit more than 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing their cloud capabilities.

“The Huawei Cloud Oasis Program will thus provide truly unique and rewarding offerings to local businesses, while safeguarding the region’s digital future through extensive training opportunities in the cloud arena,” Eric Wan, vice-president of cloud marketing, ecosystem, and partner development at Huawei Middle East said.

Around $7.6 million will be allocated for partner development, more than $2.5 million to be put behind credits and other cloud resources, and more than $4.5 million in marketing support.

The program was announced at a virtual event last week where Huawei gathered key industry players to explore collaboration in building a high-tech ecosystem.

The move comes as the UAE implements a number of initiatives to boost the country’s digital capabilities – similar to many other countries in the Gulf.


Dubai-based ZENIQ to launch platforms that turn assets into digital tokens

Dubai-based ZENIQ to launch platforms that turn assets into digital tokens
Updated 19 September 2021

Dubai-based ZENIQ to launch platforms that turn assets into digital tokens

Dubai-based ZENIQ to launch platforms that turn assets into digital tokens
  • The first of these platforms, ZENIQ Art NFT, will facilitate the authentication, sale, and transfer of digital artworks in a “safe and secure” environment

DUBAI: A Dubai-based provider of blockchain-based applications is launching a tokenization project to better facilitate the trading of digital assets.

“The project will see the establishment of non-fungible token (NFT) platforms for real estate, gold and precious materials, gemstones, and digital art,” ZENIQ Technologies said in a statement.

The first of these platforms, ZENIQ Art NFT, will facilitate the authentication, sale, and transfer of digital artworks in a “safe and secure” environment.

“We are convinced that the ZENIQ Art NFT, used in conjunction with our secure blockchain platform, will stimulate uptake from artists, buyers and dealers alike and grow the market for digital artworks both in Dubai and internationally,” Erwin Dokter, founder of ZENIQ, said.

Dubai plays an integral role in digital art investments, he said, explaining why the emirate is the perfect place for the project.

“We believe that Dubai will be the focus for the sixth era of world creativity,” Dokter added.