Saudi's Almarai picks banks for hybrid sukuk sale

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Saudi Arabian dairy producer Almarai Co has mandated four banks to arrange the sale of a 1.7 billion riyals ($453.3 million) Islamic hybrid bond, or sukuk, the company said on Wednesday.

The Gulf's largest dairy firm has mandated the investment banking arm of Banque Saudi Fransi, BNP Paribas , HSBC's Saudi Arabian unit and Standard Chartered to hold investor meetings during the next two weeks, it said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse.

The issue will have a perpetual maturity, meaning that the company can count the proceeds towards its equity position. It is Almarai's first such issue and one of the first ever hybrid bonds from a Saudi corporate.

The offering, part of a 15.7 billion riyal 5-year capital funding program, will be denominated in Saudi riyals and sold to sophisticated investors residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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