Almarai plans hybrid sukuk
Saudi Arabian dairy producer Almarai Co. has chosen four banks to arrange the sale of a hybrid sukuk. The firm has mandated the investment banking arm of Banque Saudi Fransi, BNP Paribas, HSBC’s Saudi Arabian unit and Standard Chartered to arrange the transaction. The offering, which is not imminent, is likely to be denominated in Saudi riyals, although the company could opt to issue in dollars instead. Almarai’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Louis Gay, told reporters in May it could opt to issue a hybrid Islamic bond in the next 12 months to help fund its ambitious growth plans, with a target amount of around $500 million. However, Gay said in May it was looking to raise the cash from international investors, rather than the local debt market. Earlier this month, Almarai posted a 4.9 percent year-on-year rise in second-quarter net profit on the back of growth in its core business.