Samba, banks in talks about bond

Saudi bank Samba Financial Group is talking to several banks about a dollar-denominated international bond issue, IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters reported yesterday.

Discussions have been taking place with a number of institutions, but no mandates have been awarded yet, IFR said, but Samba said there were no formal talks. "We would like to deny that Samba is in any formal discussions of issuance of bond at this point in time," Samba Financial Officer Abdul Haleem Sheikh said in an e-mail to Reuters.

A number of Saudi institutions are currently considering issuing bonds.

Banque Saudi Fransi is meeting investors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East next week to test the waters for potential debt issuance, executives at the bank said.

A debt sale would be the second this year after Saudi property developer Dar al-Arkan issued a smaller-than-expected five-year Islamic bond worth $450 million (Dh1.6 billion) and priced at 10.75 per cent.


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