Saudi construction giant completes $266m sukuk sale

Banking sources say Saudi Binladin Group said to be planning to use bond to fund projects

Saudi Binladin Group, one of the largest construction firms in the kingdom, has completed a SR1bn ($266.7m) Islamic bond sale, two bankers familiar with the matter said.

The transaction, structured as a sukuk al-murabaha, has a one-year lifespan and pays a profit rate of 2.5 percent, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorised to talk to the press.

A murabaha is a sharia-compliant cost-plus-profit arrangement. Binladin Group was not immediately available for comment.

Sources said last month that BNP Paribas and the investment banking arm of Gulf International Bank were marketing a deal for Binladin Group to Saudi investors, with proceeds to be used to fund its projects.

The Islamic bond was sold to a wide range of investor types including financial institutions, asset managers and insurance funds among others, one of the bankers said.

The sukuk sale is the fourth carrying a 364-day tenor. The last, a SR1bn offering, was completed in August, with previous deals in July 2010 and July 2011.

Binladin Group has already completed one, longer-dated local currency sukuk in 2013. It priced the SR1.3bn Islamic bond with a 2.5-year lifespan, arranged by the investment banking arm of Banque Saudi Fransi, in April.

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