| DUBAI, June 11
DUBAI, June 11 Kingdom Holding, the
investment vehicle of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin
Talal, has picked two banks to manage its maiden debt issue, a
local currency bond, two sources said on Monday.
No date has been set for the issue, which is not seen as
The firm, which is 95-percent owned by Prince Alwaleed, a
nephew of Saudi Arabia's king and a shareholder in Citigroup
Inc., has mandated Banque Saudi Fransi and
Deutsche Bank to arrange the riyal-denominated
transaction, the sources said.
"It was mandated a long time ago to the two banks but there
are no plans to sell anything imminently," one of the sources
said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information is
not yet public.
Kingdom officials were not immediately available for
Kingdom received approval from shareholders in March to sell
bonds worth up to 3.75 billion riyals ($1 billion), although no
details on timeframe or structure were given.
When the firm does market a deal, it is likely to be below
benchmark size, the second source said. A benchmark-sized issue
is traditionally understood to be worth $500 million or more.
Kingdom has minority stakes in some of the world's top
companies. Aside from being one of the largest shareholders in
Citigroup, it also owns stakes in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp
and microblogging site Twitter.
A number of Saudi entities have priced their first local
currency sukuk this year as interest in the country's debt
market grows on the back of high investor liquidity and a desire
to diversify funding sources away from bank loans.
The largest of these was a 15-billion riyal ($4 billion)
issue from the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) in
January while National Industrialization Co (Tasnee), a
petrochemicals company, and diary firm Almarai Co
issued 2 billion and 1 billion riyals in March and May
($1 = 3.7505 Saudi riyals)
(Editing by Amran Abocar)