November 6, 2019 / 8:59 AM / 7 days ago

Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres plans debut dollar bond sale – sources

DUBAI, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian mall operator Arabian Centres is planning an inaugural sale of U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds, sources familiar with the matter said, as firms in the Gulf take advantage of low interest rates to raise debt.

The company, which went public earlier this year, is looking to raise $500 million from the issue, said the three sources.

Arabian Centres did not respond to a request for comment.

Goldman and HSBC are poised to lead the transaction which could take place as soon as this year, the sources said.

HSBC declined to comment, Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arabian Centres’ 2.8 billion riyals ($747 million) initial public offering (IPO) in May was the kingdom’s third biggest since Saudi Arabian lender National Commercial Bank raised $6 billion in 2014.

The firm plans to expand its operations to 27 malls within four years and is building cinemas after a decades-long ban on movie theatres was lifted last year.

The planned debt raising follows a busy year for regional debt markets, with borrowers raising cheap debt from international investors looking for high yields in a low interest rate environment globally. ($1 = 3.7501 riyals) (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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