Maaden to borrow $2bn for phosphate project
Riyadh, October 2, 2007
Saudi Arabian Mining Co is seeking about $2 billion for a phosphate venture it is developing with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), sources familiar with the deal said.
The state-owned mining firm, known as Maaden, is expected to approach banks within the next few weeks to arrange financing, two sources said.
Standard Chartered and Saudi Arabia's Riyad Bank are advising Maaden on the deal, they said.
Most of the debt is likely to comply with Islam's ban on the receipt of interest, one source said.
Maaden said last month the bill for the phosphate venture had soared to 21 billion riyals ($5.6 billion), 62 percent more that it had expected in March, due to a rise in labour and material costs on the international construction market.
Sabic, the world's largest chemical company by market value and the Gulf's largest steel producer, owns 30 percent of the project and Maaden the rest.
The joint venture will include a phosphate mine and processing plant producing 3 million tonnes of fertiliser per year, the two firms said in March. - Reuters