Apicorp seals $667m Islamic finance deal
Manama, February 13, 2012
Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) said it has successfully closed a three-year SR2.5 billion ($667 million) syndicated Shari’ah-compliant facility from four leading Saudi banks on competitive market terms.
A Saudi-based multilateral bank owned by Arab states, Apicorp said the facility, which is its debut syndicated Shari’ah-compliant financing, is aimed at retaining and increasing its medium term funding.
Leading Saudi banks Riyad, Al Rajhi, Banque Saudi Fransi and The Saudi British Bank are acting as the mandated lead arrangers for the facility, while Riyad Bank will perform the role of Murabaha facility agent.
The term financing was oversubscribed by the mandated lead arrangers, said a statement from Apicorp, in which the government of Bahrain has a three per cent stake.
Ahmad Bin Hamad Al Nuaimi, chief executive and GM said: “This transaction is a continuation of Apicorp's strategy to significantly strengthen its balance sheet; a strategy first announced in October 2010 when Apicorp debuted its three times oversubscribed SR2 billion bond.”
In a strong endorsement of its performance from member states in May 2011, Apicorp doubled its authorized capital to $2.4 billion, increased its paid up capital by 36 per cent to $750 million, and increased its subscribed capital by 173 per cent to $1.5 billion, said Al Nuaimi.
“The result is that our strategy continues to allow Apicorp to better carry out its mandate in what we expect will be a challenging global economic environment in 2012. Equally as important, the strategy will help Apicorp withstand potential sudden shocks in the global financial system,” he added.
Since its founding in 1975, Apicorp has played a vital role in fostering the development of the Arab energy industry.
'Over the last 36 years, we have invested as an equity owner in a total of 22 oil and gas joint venture projects worth in excess of $13 billion,' Al Nuaimi stated.
“Today’s transaction is testimony to the confidence of the banking community in Apicorp’s financial stability despite what continues to be a risk-averse lending environment,” he said.
According to him, Apicorp’s strong credit position, A1 for long term and Prime 1 for short term, was recently reaffirmed by Moody’s Investors Services’ with a stable outlook.
“Apicorp’s robust capitalization and strong liquidity profile is backed by strong and conservative banking fundamentals,” Al Nuaimi added.-TradeArabia News Service