Saudi oil investor to begin $3 billion sukuk programme

Desert oil pumps1Saudi Arabia-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) says it may issue the first sukuk of a planned $3 billion sukuk programme this year.

Ratings agency Moody’s has awarded a provisional Aa3 rating for the sukuk, which will be issued by the company through a Cayman Islands subsidiary. Apicorp says it plans to list the sukuk on the Irish Stock Exchange with Standard Chartered acting as sole arranger.

Set up in 1975 by an alliance of Arab oil-producing countries, Apicorp describes itself as a multilateral development bank dedicated to investing in oil and gas projects in the Arab world. It says it has made $16 billion of investments in joint ventures and participated in energy finance transactions worth more than $130 billion.

Apicorp chairman Dr Aabed A Al-Saadoun says the issuance will allow the organisation “to diversify its funding sources, reduce the overall cost of financing, extend the company’s debt maturity profile, and enhance our access to a diverse set of global investors”.

A statement by Apicorp adds that the programme “supports the efforts to deepen the international sukuk markets by offering sharia-compliant investors access to high-quality sovereigns, supra nationals and agencies assets”.

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