Saudi British Bank prices 1.5 bln riyal capital-boosting sukuk

DUBAI Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:56am EST

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DUBAI Dec 18 (Reuters) - Saudi British Bank (SABB), an affiliate of HSBC Holdings, has completed a 1.5 billion riyal ($400 million) capital-boosting sukuk issue, it said on Wednesday.

The Islamic bond has a lifespan of seven years, with a clause allowing the bank to redeem the paper after five years, and was priced at 1.4 percent over the six-month Saudi interbank offered rate (Saibor), the bourse filing said.

The subordinated offering will improve the Tier 2 - or supplementary - capital of Saudi Arabia's fourth-largest listed lender by market value, although no specifics were given.

SABB's total capital ratio - combining core Tier 1 and supplementary Tier 2 capital - was one of the lowest among banks in the kingdom at the end of June, at 14.78 percent.

Reuters had reported in August that SABB was looking to sell a capital-boosting sukuk before the end of the year and that HSBC was advising it on the issue.

SABB is the latest Saudi bank to boost its capital through the sale of debt instruments; while the kingdom's lenders are well capitalised compared to their Western peers, a sustained period of high loan growth has put downward pressure on their capital positions.

Earlier this week, Saudi Hollandi Bank priced a 2.5 billion riyal, ten-year subordinated sukuk at 1.55 percent over Saibor. (Reporting by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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