UPDATE 1-Oman's MB Holding Co hires banks for $150 mln sukuk sale

Omani MB Holding Co has hired banks to help it raise up to $150 million via an Islamic bond.

  
An investor talks on his mobile phone, whilst working on his computer, on the trading floor of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) in the Commercial Business District of Ruwi in Muscat, October 2, 2007. Image for illustrative purposes.

An investor talks on his mobile phone, whilst working on his computer, on the trading floor of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) in the Commercial Business District of Ruwi in Muscat, October 2, 2007. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Stringer


MUSCAT, May 30 (Reuters) - Omani conglomerate MB Holding Co has hired banks to help it raise up to $150 million via an Islamic bond (sukuk) programme, bank officials said on Monday, in what would be only the second corporate sukuk in the Sultanate.

MB Holding Co has mandated National Bank of Oman and Standard Chartered to arrange the five-year deal for the multi-currency bonds which is expected to close next month, chief financial officer Sushil Srivastava told Reuters.

"The sukuk will go via private placement, and we have a fixed pricing of 8.5 percent," said Srivastava, after the country's Capital Market Authority (CMA) gave approval to the transaction.

The sale of sukuk by MB Holding, whose flagship company is MB Petroleum Services, could help revive interest in Islamic funding sources in the country.

The first corporate sukuk in Oman came in late 2013, a 50 million rial ($130 million) deal from real estate firm Tilal Development Co.

No other corporates have successfully sold sukuk since then, with Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) scrapping plans to issue a $130 million dual-currency deal in February.

The government issued sukuk of its own in October of last year, with the CMA publishing sukuk regulations last month.

In 2010, MB Petroleum Services sold a $320 million high yield bond which was rated B+ by Standard & Poor's and BB- by Fitch.

(Reporting by Fatma Alarimi; Writing by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Kim Coghill) ((Bernardo.Vizcaino@thomsonreuters.com; Telf: +61293218168; Reuters Messaging: bernardo.vizcaino.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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