Saudi Mall Owner Othaim Plans Debut Local Currency Sukuk

The transaction is likely to be worth between SAR500 million and SAR1 billion, sources said.

Saudi Arabia’s Al Othaim Real Estate and Investment Co, owner of five shopping malls in the Kingdom, plans to issue its debut local currency sukuk as early as this month, two sources aware of the matter said on Sunday.

Also known as Othaim Malls, the firm has chosen Deutsche Bank and the investment banking arm of Banque Saudi Fransi to arrange the Islamic bond, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information isn’t public.

The transaction is likely to be worth between SAR500 million and SAR1 billion ($133-$267 million), one of the sources added.

Othaim Malls is part of Al Othaim Holding, a family-owned conglomerate which includes listed food retailer Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. Othaim Malls didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Saudi companies are increasingly turning to the sukuk market for their funding needs, drawn by abundant liquidity in the local investor market which allows them to borrow cheaply, a regulatory push to develop the Kingdom’s capital markets and, in some cases, a desire to diversify away from bank finance, which has been the traditional method of fund-raising.

Saudi Telecom is currently marketing its maiden sukuk transaction, while Saudi Electricity Co, dairy firm Almarai and construction giant Saudi Binladin Group have all completed deals in recent months.