* Investor meetings begin on Tuesday
* Samba Capital to arrange riyal-denominated offering
* Close to signing 1 bln riyal loan with group of banks
(Adds loan news, context)
DUBAI, May 27 Saudi Arabian retailer Fawaz
Abdulaziz Alhokair Co plans to issue a debut
riyal-denominated sukuk and is close to signing a 1 billion
riyal ($266.6 million) loan, it said on Tuesday, to help fund
Alhokair, the Saudi Arabian retailer which franchises brands
such as Zara and Marks and Spencer in the kingdom, will
begin meeting local investors on Tuesday ahead of a potential
issuing of the Islamic bond, a bourse filing said.
Samba Financial Group's investment banking arm
will arrange the transaction, although no value or tenor of the
sukuk was given in the statement.
The company was also close to signing an agreement with a
group of banks for a loan worth 1 billion riyals, Alhokair said
in a separate stock market statement.
The loan would be used to repay most of its existing loans
and also to finance the company's expansion.
To cover the time between the loan and the sukuk being
completed, Alhokair had signed a 315 million riyal bridging loan
with Samba, the statement said.
Alhokair operates across 20 markets, predominantly in the
Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States, and has been
expanding both on its own and through acquisitions - including
the purchase of Spanish clothing brand Blanco earlier this year.
Alhokair was planning to open 404 stores globally in the
next financial year, of which half would be in Saudi Arabia, a
company official told Reuters in March.
Saudi Arabia's retail market is highly regarded by investors
and companies, given its favourable demographics - about 60
percent of the population is under 30 - and its growing per
($1 = 3.7505 Saudi Riyals)
(Reporting by David French; Editing by Erica Billingham)