‘We have had positive preliminary responses from the Taiwanese banks and are expecting them to take 40-50 per cent of the syndication,’ he says. It is understood that the five lead arranging banks are aiming to sell between $100 million and $150 million during syndication (MEED 26:7:02).

‘There was initially a feeling among the Taiwanese banks that the pricing was not as juicy as they were hoping for, but when it is measured against the 35-40 bp [basis points] they get on CPC [ Chinese Petroleum Corporation], they see that it is fair,’ says the banker. CPC is one of two Taiwanese shareholders in Qafac. The eight-and-a-half-year refinancing is priced at 75 bp over Libor.

The deal’s lead arrangers are awaiting a decision from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA – central bank) over whether Saudi financial institutions will be granted permission to participate in the transaction.

‘Five Saudi banks requested the IM [information memorandum] and we are expecting three to go to SAMA for approval,’ the banker says. ‘There were a bunch of Saudis in Qafco [ Qatar Fertiliser Company] and this deal has a similar risk profile. But SAMA reviews these transactions on a deal-by-deal basis. When preparing a syndication strategy you have to assume you’ll get nothing from Saudi Arabia and treat it as a bonus if permission is given.’

Societe Generale is acting as Qafac’s financial adviser (MEED 12:7:02).