HSBC is working with its local partner SABB, while RBS is working with Riyad Bank.
An award of the mandate is expected to be made before the end of May.
Six banking groups were invited to bid for the mandate at a meeting in London in April.
The other groups were:
Citigroup with Apicorp
Societe Generale with Gulf International Bank
Calyon with Banque Saudi Fransi
BNP Paribas with Samba.
RBS decided to partner with Riyad Bank despite owning a 40 per cent stake in Saudi Hollandi. The latter was the only bank invited to bid for the mandate but not to secure an international bank partner.
Hollandi eventually had to drop out of the running as a result (MEED 2:5:08).