Oman okays MB Holding's $150 mln sukuk programme

Oman's financial regulator said on Monday it had approved a $150 million Islamic bond programme to be issued by conglomerate MB Holding

  
Image for illustrative purpose only. An investor works on his computer above the trading floor of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) in the Commercial Business District of Ruwi in Muscat

Image for illustrative purpose only. An investor works on his computer above the trading floor of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) in the Commercial Business District of Ruwi in Muscat

REUTERS/STR New
MUSCAT, May 30 (Reuters) - Oman's financial regulator said on Monday it had approved a $150 million Islamic bond programme to be issued by conglomerate MB Holding Co, in what would be only the second corporate sukuk in the Sultanate.

The sale of sukuk by MB Holding, whose flagship company is MB Petroleum Services, would be conducted as a private placement, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) said.

Details such as tenor or timing were not available, but the proposed sukuk from MB Holding could help revive interest in Islamic funding sources in the country.

The first sale of 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))