|30 October, 2019

Saudi Public Investment Fund signs $10bln loan

The loan, provided by a syndicate of 10 banks, is linked to the acquisition by Saudi Aramco of PIF’s stake in petrochemical company Saudi Basic Corporation

View shows the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

View shows the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI- Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), signed a $10 billion loan to fund new investments, the sovereign wealth fund and an executive at the fund said on Wednesday.

The loan, provided by a syndicate of 10 banks, is linked to the acquisition by Saudi Aramco of PIF’s stake in petrochemical company Saudi Basic Corporation (SABIC), said Alireza Zaimi, head of corporate finance at PIF, speaking at an investment conference in Riyadh.

Lenders include Bank of America Corp, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Mizuho Bank and MUFG Bank, the fund said in a statement.

Aramco in March signed an agreement to acquire from the PIF a 70% majority stake in SABIC, one of the largest petrochemicals manufacturers in the world, for $69.1 billion.

The syndicated bridge loan will provide the fund with short-term funding for new investments and would be repaid after the sale of SABIC is completed, the PIF said in the statement.

"The regulatory requirements ahead of completion mean there is likely to be a period of delay before PIF is able to redeploy that capital," the fund said. "This bridge loan will enable us to accelerate the implementation of our ambitious investment program."

The fund, which raised $11 bln in a five-year syndicated loan last year, was in talks with banks about the bridge loan earlier this year, Reuters reported in May.

The loan was expected to offer relatively low margins, with one source saying he expected it to be around 30 basis points above Libor.

(Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes) ((dahlia.nehme@thomsonreuters.com;))