By Souhail Karam
Size of the planned issue will depend on the pricing that the bond gets.
Banque Saudi Fransi plans to raise $250 to $500 million from a five year bond issue, a source from the bank said on Monday. The size of the planned issue, which follows a roadshow last week, will depend on the pricing that the Saudi affiliate of French Credit Agricole gets for the bond, the source said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said: "Nothing has been decided yet as to how much we will raise but it will be between $250 million and $500 million."
He added: "Investors are mostly interested in sovereign issues and reluctant to buy into corporate debt. At the same time you also have Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Samba Financial Group in the market to raise debt which makes it tougher for us."
Banque Saudi Fransi met investors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East earlier this month to test their appetite for the issue.
The lender was initially linked with an issue in January, when financiers away from the deal named Citibank, Credit Agricole and Deutsche Bank as arrangers for the sale, IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters has reported.
The issue was delayed by local credit conditions, combined with uncertainty in the international capital markets caused by debt problems in Greece and Dubai.
A Saudi debt sale would be the second this year after property developer Dar al Arkan issued a less than expected five year $450 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, priced at 10.75 percent. (Reuters)