GCC project finance

19 October 2009

The six key figures in the GCC’s project and structured finance markets are: Geoffrey Biron, Joseph Rodriguez, Irfan Said, Mansoor Durrani, Saad ur-Rehman and Hassan Ali

Geoffrey Biron

Position: Global head of project and structured finance, Arab Banking Corporation (ABC)

Biography: Geoffrey Biron became global head of project and structured finance at Bahrain’s ABC in April 2009. He has more than 20 years’ experience in investment and commercial banking, with specific expertise in the development of independent water and power projects (IWPPs), both as a financial adviser and as a debt arranger. Prior to joining ABC, Biron spent five years as director and regional head of global structured finance for the Middle East at ANZ Investment Bank, a division of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. Since moving to Bahrain in 2000, Biron has played a leading role in the advisory teams on several landmark deals within the power and water industry, most notably the Shuaibah and Marafiq IWPPs in Saudi Arabia, the Al-Ezzal independent power project (IPP) and the Al-Hidd IWPP in Bahrain, and the Disi Water Project and Al-Qatrana IPP in Jordan.

Contact Tel: (+973) 1754 3000

Joseph Rodriguez

Position: Head of leveraged finance, Al-Rajhi Capital

Biography: Joseph Rodriguez was appointed head of the leveraged finance group for Al-Rajhi Capital, the investment banking division of Al-Rajhi Bank, in April 2009. Prior to this, he served as head of specialised finance at the bank from March 2007. Rodriguez’s landmark deals with Al-Rajhi include the $2.4bn project financing for the Rabigh IPP in 2009. Prior to joining Al-Rajhi, Rodriguez was a director for the US’ Citigroup’s Corporate & Investment Bank, where he held several posts, including head of corporate finance for sub-Saharan Africa, where he was responsible for the delivery of structured debt products in 37 African countries. Rodriguez holds an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York, US, and a master’s degree and BSc in civil engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, also in the US.

Contact Tel: (+966) 5464 7012

Irfan Said

Position: Head of project and structured finance, Samba Financial Group

Biography: Irfan Said is head of project and structured finance at Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group. Prior to his current role, Said served as manager of project and structured finance at ANZ Investment Bank. Samba has played a pivotal role in the development of the project finance market through advising and arranging funds for public and private sector entities across various sectors, in particular power and water. Recent roles include advising Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) on raising limited-recourse financing for its $10bn Saudi Kayan petrochemical project. Samba has established a presence in several other countries, notably the UAE, the UK and Pakistan, where it has replicated its project finance expertise. Recently, it was appointed mandated lead arranger for financings including the Shuweihat 2 IWPP and Dolphin pipeline in the UAE.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1211 7415

Mansoor Durrani

Position: Vice-president and head of project finance, National Commercial Bank (NCB)

Biography: Durrani joined NCB in early 2004. He was appointed head of project finance in 2007 and has built the project finance book up from scratch, covering the steel, petrochemicals, power and water, and oil and gas sectors. Durrani has led business and financial due diligence, as well as Islamic structuring, across a large number of deals in the Saudi project finance market over the past five years, including the Shuaibah IWPP, Marafiq IWPP and Rabigh IPP. NCB has participated in projects worth more than $30bn and the bank’s commitment is valued at about $5bn. Prior to the creation of NCB’s investment banking arm in 2007, known today as NCB Capital, Durrani also worked on equity capital market transactions, and played a key role in many headline deals including the initial public offerings of Sipchem, APPC, Emaar and Saudi Paper.

Contact Tel: (+ 966) 2646 4009

Saad ur-Rehman

Position: Head of the structured finance division, Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF)

Biography: Saad ur-Rehman joined BSF in 1996 and has been responsible for project and structured finance, leveraged and acquisition financing, loan syndications and financial advice since 2000. Ur-Rehman has extensive experience in structuring and arranging debt and equity for greenfield, brownfield and expansion projects in Saudi Arabia and the broader GCC region. He has been the lead manager on many of the major deals in the kingdom over the past decade, from the Yanpet transaction in 1997 to the Saudi Kayan deal in 2008. He has also been instrumental in the financing of many IWPPs, as well as acting as financial adviser for Saudi Arabia’s first IPP, which opened in June 2005. He is currently co-head of the joint financial team for BSF and Calyon that is advising Saudi Aramco and France’s Total on their $13bn refinery project in Saudi Arabia.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1404 2222

Hassan Ali

Position: Head of project and structured finance, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

Biography: Hassan Ali’s banking career with NBAD spans more than two-and-a-half decades, most of which has been spent working on project and structured finance, as well as syndication activities. Ali has been instrumental in building up the project finance and syndication department of the bank, having been involved in closing several landmark deals worth billions of dollars. Today, Ali is involved in originating, structuring, underwriting, lead arranging and concluding debt financing deals covering a range of industries. He has been a key player in the financing of IWPPs for the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority and the Dolphin project, as well as the Borse Dubai refinancing, aircraft financing for Etihad Airways and acquisition financing of the International Petroleum Investment Company and the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2611 2627

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