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Financials

Pakistan's hydropower plant prices 100 bln rupees sukuk

April 22 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Company has priced a 10-year 100 billion rupees ($955 million) sukuk issue, a document from lead arrangers showed, marking one of the largest infrastructure deals in the country to use Islamic financing.

The project, whose parent entity is Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority, set a profit rate for its sukuk of 113 basis points over the 6-month KIBOR (Karachi Interbank Offered Rate), with a first disbursement expected this month.

The sukuk, which carries a Pakistani government guarantee covering the issuance amount and profit payments, was given a preliminary AAA rating by credit rating agency JCR-VIS.

This will finance what would become the country’s fourth largest hydropower plant, with an expected completion date of August 2017 at a total cost of 404 billion rupees, with 77 percent of that being financed through debt.

The privately-placed sukuk was mandated in February, with National Bank of Pakistan acting as lead arranger. ($1 = 104.6500 Pakistani rupees) (Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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