SABIC 'not desperate' for bond issue - CFO

Situation is being assessed on a 'day to day' basis a syndicate official said.
SABIC 'not desperate' for bond issue - CFO
NOT DESPERATE: The CFO of SABIC said that his firm was not desperate to issue a bond, despite markets being volatile. (Getty Images)
By Rachna Uppal and Souhail Karim
Tue 25 May 2010 07:39 PM

The chief financial officer of chemical maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) on Tuesday said the firm was "not desperate" to issue a bond, as jittery investors continue their sell off in global markets.

Sabic Capital, a unit of the largest listed company in the Gulf Arab region, concluded investor roadshows on Tuesday for a benchmark dollar bond issue which was expected to price midweek.

Speaking to Reuters in a phone interview, Mutlaq al Morished, CFO, said: "Thank goodness SABIC is not in a bind. Markets right now are very volatile. We are happy that we are not desperate."

A syndicate official in London said it was "unlikely to see anything today," adding the situation was being assessed on a day to day basis.

Initial yield whisper for the bond, rated A+, was 150 - 175 basis points over five year midswaps, two market sources said, but one added it would not be a surprise if pricing was postponed.

Al Morished declined to comment on the pricing, saying only that it is normal for "such whispers to emerge during a bond issue."

Sabic Capital completed its investor meetings on Tuesday in Asia, after roadshowing earlier in Europe and the UAE. Lead arrangers are HSBC, JP Morgan and Royal Bank of Scotland.

World and emerging stocks slid to their lowest since Sept 2009 and the euro and oil fell on Tuesday on worries over the euro zone banking sector and concerns over tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Gulf regional exchanges tracked losses in international markets, and Saudi Arabian stocks led a rout on Middle East markets as declines in oil prices sparked panic selling in the world's top crude exporting region.

Though a pipeline of regional bond sales has built up, issuers are waiting for signs of reduced nervousness among global investors before coming to market.

Bahraini retail lender BBK also held investor meetings earlier this month for a bond issue but is waiting for better market conditions. (Reuters)

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