JEDDAH — Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), the lender part-owned by Credit Agricole, launched a $750 million five-year Islamic bond Tuesday at the tighter end of price guidance, which indicated strong investor demand for the issue.
Saudi Fransi, the Kingdom’s fifth largest bank by market capitalization, launched the sukuk at a spread of 185 basis points over midswaps, arranging banks said, at the lower end of the range indicated earlier in the day.
It attracted orders worth $4 billion.
Initial price guidance released Monday was 200 basis points over midswaps. The issue would be the Saudi bank’s first sukuk sale under a recently-established $2 billion program.
Dollar-denominated bonds from Saudi Arabia come to market relatively infrequently, and attract substantial demand when they do.
BSF would have benefited from a strong regional bid supporting the deal, allowing the borrower to set a deal size bigger than the standard benchmark of $500 million. — SG/Reuters