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Sun 1 Jun 2014 06:41 PM

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Saudi shopping mall owner said to plan debut sukuk

Al Othaim Real Estate and Investment Co joins growing number of firms turning to sukuk for funding needs

Saudi shopping mall owner said to plan debut sukuk
Saudi money, Saudi currency, Saudi economy, Saudi finance, GCC currencies

Saudi Arabia's Al Othaim Real Estate and Investment Co, owner of five shopping malls in the kingdom, plans to issue its debut local currency sukuk as early as this month, two sources aware of the matter said on Sunday.

Also known as Othaim Malls, the firm has chosen Deutsche Bank and the investment banking arm of Banque Saudi Fransi to arrange the Islamic bond, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information isn't public.

The transaction is likely to be worth between 500 million and 1 billion riyals ($133-$267 million), one of the sources added.

Othaim Malls is part of Al Othaim Holding, a family-owned conglomerate which includes listed food retailer Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. Othaim Malls didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Saudi companies are increasingly turning to the sukuk market for their funding needs, drawn by abundant liquidity in the local investor market which allows them to borrow cheaply, a regulatory push to develop the kingdom's capital markets and, in some cases, a desire to diversify away from bank finance, which has been the traditional method of fund-raising.

Saudi Telecom is currently marketing its maiden sukuk transaction, while Saudi Electricity Co, dairy firmAlmarai and construction giant Saudi Binladin Group have all completed deals in recent months.

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