Saudi's Dar Al Arkan set to sell sukuk this week

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Dar Al Arkan chairman Jousef Al Shelash.

Dar Al Arkan chairman Jousef Al Shelash.

Saudi real estate developer Dar Al Arkan aims to return to global debt markets after more than three years this week with an Islamic bond, aiming to take advantage of low borrowing costs to finance future growth.

The company plans to raise at least $500m from the five-year sukuk, which will be marketed to global investors from Monday onwards, arranging banks said. Early price guidance for the deal was for a yield of 6.25 percent, they said in a statement sent to investors.

"Dar Al Arkan's upcoming sukuk should receive adequate demand in the 6.25 percent area, given its rarity premium and the company's recent deleveraging and strong track record with creditors," said Gus Chehayeb, director of Middle East and Africa corporate research at Exotix in Dubai.

However, Chehayeb cautioned that the pricing could have been higher as there was some concern in the market that Dar Al Arkan will follow up the issuance with a generous dividend.

Shares in Dar Al Arkan rose 14.4 percent in the first two days of trading this week, taking year-to-date gains to 15.8 percent.

Dar Al Arkan last tapped markets for a five-year US dollar sukuk in 2010 when it priced a $450m deal at 10.75 percent. The transaction, the first ever bond from a Saudi entity available to investors in the United States, came at the height of a regional property slowdown and Dubai's credit crisis, which affected sentiment across the region.

Since then however, a recovery in the sector, boosted by prospects for the implementation of a new mortgage law in Saudi, as well as rising demand for regional debt, has allowed Dar to substantially lower its funding costs.

The 2015 paper was bid at 110 cents on the dollar on Monday, according to Thomson Reuters data, to yield 4.6 percent, down from about 6.2 percent at the beginning of the year.

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor's changed the outlook on its B+ rating on Dar Al Arkan to positive.

Bahrain-based Bank Al Khair, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, Goldman Sachs and Qatari pair Masraf Al Rayan and QInvest are mandated joint bookrunners on the sukuk, which is due to price this week.


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