Riyad Bank hires banks for dollar sukuk issue

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Jeddah

Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank has hired international and regional banks to arrange the potential issuance of dollar-denominated sukuk, it said in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday. The country’s fourth-largest bank has hired JPMorgan, Riyad Capital, Standard Chartered, First Abu Dhabi Bank and HSBC to lead the deal, the filing said. The tier 2 sukuk sale would be the first debt issuance under the bank’s programme to issue primary and secondary bonds. The programme’s maximum value is $3 billion. The size of the sukuk issuance “will be determined in accordance with market conditions,” the bank said in the filing. The potential debt sale’s purpose is to diversify sources of finance and strengthen the bank’s capital base, it said. On Monday, Fitch Ratings assigned Riyad Bank’s fundraising programme a BBB+ rating, which it said was “driven by its standalone creditworthiness … and also underpinned by a high probability of support from the Saudi authorities, if needed.”—Reuters