* NCB picks four banks ahead of capital-boosting sukuk -
* Roadshows next week, pricing expected end-Feb - source
* Latest Saudi bank to boost capital after high lending
(Adds roadshow details, context)
DUBAI, Jan 30 Saudi Arabia's largest lender,
National Commercial Bank, has chosen four banks to
arrange a local currency sukuk, joining a trend of lenders in
the kingdom using Islamic bond markets to top up their capital
NCB had mandated its own investment banking arm, NCB
Capital, as well as that of Gulf International Bank and the
Saudi Arabian units of HSBC and JP Morgan to
arrange the transaction, those arranging banks announced on
Meetings with Saudi investors will take place next week,
with pricing of the Islamic bond expected towards the end of
February, a source with knowledge of the matter said, speaking
on condition of anonymity as the information is not public.
The sukuk will enhance the bank's Tier 2 - or supplementary
- capital and will have a 10-year lifespan with an option of the
bank redeeming the instrument after five years.
The size of the issue has yet to be determined.
NCB is the latest Saudi bank to announce plans for a
capital-boosting sukuk. Many banks have been selling such
instruments to strengthen their reserves after a period of
sustained lending growth.
Riyad Bank completed a 4 billion riyals ($1.1
billion) issue in November, and Saudi Hollandi Bank
priced a 2.5 billion riyals offering in December.
NCB's chairman was quoted in October as saying the bank was
planning to issue a capital-boosting sukuk worth up to 4 billion
The bank's capital adequacy ratio, an indicator of
financial health, would drop to around 15 percent after the
distribution of dividends for 2013, Mansour al-Maiman said at
Saudi banks are generally well capitalised compared to their
Western peers due to the regulator's conservative stance towards
the health of the banking system.
($1 = 3.7505 Saudi riyals)
(Reporting by Azza El Arabi and David French; Editing by Dinesh
Nair and Pravin Char)