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Wed 10 Mar 2010 01:45 PM

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Saudi Fransi to test waters for debt issuance

Saudi affiliate of Credit Agricole to begin presentations in Saudi Arabia on March 14.

Saudi Fransi to test waters for debt issuance
DEBT ISSUANCE: BSF had initially been linked with an issue back in January.(Getty Images)

Saudi lender Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) will meet investors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East next week to test the waters for a potential debt issuance, executives at the bank said on Wednesday.

"We will test the water to present the bank," one banker said, who declined to be identified said.

BSF had initially been linked with an issue back 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 bank did not press ahead with the deal as local credit conditions, combined with uncertainty in the international capital markets caused by debt problems in Greece and Dubai, forced the delay.

"If investors show appetite for bond, of whatever nature, then we will see if we will issue or not," the banker said.

The Saudi affiliate of France's Credit Agricole is set to begin presentations in Saudi Arabia on March 14 before moving to selected countries in Asia and Europe, he said.

The banker did not give a reason for the sale.

A debt sale would be the second this year after Saudi property developer Dar al-Arkan issued a less than expected five-year $450 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, priced at 10.75 percent. (Reuters)

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