Banks sign up for Shuaibah finance

16 December 2005
Twenty banks have signed up for the various tranches of the financing package for the Shuaibah independent water and power project (IWPP). Three more banks are expected to join the deal ahead of the signing of the financing agreements in London on 21 December. Financial close is due early in 2006.

Banks had been asked to provide sub-underwriting commitments of $110 million to the $947 million main commercial facility. However, the facility was about two times oversubscribed so some scaling back will take place. Most banks joined both the conventional commercial tranche and the $400 million tranche covered by Germany's Hermes.

The conventional portion and the $225 million Islamic tranche have a step-up pricing structure, starting at 120 basis points (bp) pre-completion, falling to 115 bp from completion to year seven, and then rising according to a grid to 170 bp. The tenor is 20 years. The 17.5-year Hermes tranche is priced at a flat 40 bp. The fourth component of the package is a $402 million direct loan from Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim - MEED 9:12:05).

The banks committing to both the conventional and Hermes tranches are: Arab Banking Corporation, Banque Saudi Fransi, Bayerische Landesbank, KBC Bank, Natexis Banques Populaires, HSHNordbank, Nord LB, Samba Financial Group, Saudi British Bankwith HSBC, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporationand WestLB.

Banks only joining the commercial tranche are: Mashreqbank, Mizuho Financial Group, National Bank of Bahrain, RHB Bankand Woori Bank. The National Commercial Bankhas joined the Islamic tranche, which is being underwritten by Al-Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation, and Riyad Bankis also likely to join. Arab National Bankand Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp)are expected to join the conventional tranche.

The mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) are Al-Rajhi, Arab Bank, ABN Amro, Kexim, Riyad Bank and Saudi Hollandi Bank. Riyad Bank is acting as overall co-ordinating bank on the transaction. The bookrunners are: Arab Bank and ABN Amro for regional and international banks on the conventional and Hermes tranches; Riyad Bank on the conventional tranche for local banks; and Al-Rajhi and Riyad Bank for the Islamic tranche.

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