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SAUDI ARABIA [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
[December 21, 2012]

SAUDI ARABIA [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]

(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SAUDI ARABIASaudi Arabia's non-oil exports drop 10.64% y/y in Q3 2012.

Saudi Arabia's non-oil exports dropped by 10.6% y/y to SAR 40.6bn (USD 10.8bn) in Q3 2012, the central statistics department said. On a quarterly basis, non-oil exports were down by 12.7% from the second quarter of 2012. Specifically, petrochemical products exports dropped by 15.99% y/y to SAR 14.16bn, accounting for 34.8% of total exports in the third quarter of 2012. The second in the export list came plastic products with SAR 13.9bn exports, up by 0.16% y/y. Re-exports also decreased by 20.58% y/y to SAR 4.3bn, followed by a 8.48% y/y decline in food exports of SAR 2.9bn. China was Saudi Arabia's main customer accounting for 12.8% of total non-oil exports, followed by the UAE taking up to 10% of exports.

Saudi imports increased by 7.9% y/y and 0.4% q/q to SAR 138.6bn in Q3 2012. Most of the imports (27.5%) came in the form of machinery and electric equipment valued at SAR 38.1bn, up by 11% y/y. Also on an upward curve were exports of transport equipment (up by 22.44% y/y to SAR 23.1bn) and of minerals and mineral products (+11.91% y/y to SAR 19.7bn.) In contrast, foodstuff exports declined 10.6% y/y to SAR 18.78bn in the third quarter of 2012. China continued to be the top supplier to Saudi Arabia accounting for 14.4% of total imports to the country. The United States and Germany followed with respective imports of 13.3% and 7.1% to Saudi Arabia.

Banque Saudi Fransi closes USD 506.6mn Islamic bond issue.

Banque Saudi Fransi has successfully closed a private placement offer of SAR 1.9bn (USD 506.6mn) subordinated Islamic bond (sukuk), the bank said in a bourse statement. The remaining amount of the approved SAR 2.5bn sukuk is to be launched at a later date subject to the bank's requirements. The proceeds of the bond are to boost the bank's capital reserves and extend maturity of some of its debt. The seven-year sukuk was priced at 110 basis points over 3-month SIBOR and can be repaid by the bank at the end of the fifth year. Banque Saudi Fransi, partly owned by French Credit Agricole, is the fifth largest bank by market value in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Zain Telecom extends USD 2.4bn Islamic loan payment for sixth time.

Saudi Arabia's Zain Telecom, a subsidiary of Kuwait's Zain, extended the maturity of its SAR 9bn (USD 2.4bn) Islamic loan for the sixth time, the indebted operator said in a bourse statement. The deadline for the repayment of the Murabaha facility was postponed for January 30, 2013 from the original payment date in July 2011. The firm said the purpose of this extension was to enable it finalise a new long-term financing agreement to replace the existing one, citing the same reason when it previously extended the loan on November 28. Saudi Zain reported a 2% y/y wider net loss in Q3 2012 as revenues dropped by 6% y/y and expenses rose by 3% y/y, while subscribers' base also contracted by 11% y/y. Launched in 2008 in Saudi Arabia, the telecom operator never reported a quarterly net profit and its debts reached SAR 19.4bn in September 2012 as it competed for clients with rivals Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily, an affiliate of UAE's Etisalat.

Saudi Methanol Chemicals Co to build USD 19.9mn plant.

Saudi Methanol Chemicals Company (SMCC) plans to set up a new plant to expand production of concrete improving material (SNF) with an investment of SAR 75mn (USD 19.9mn), the company said in a bourse statement. The new plant is to have an initial annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes. SMCC is to finance the construction of the plant through a combination of own resources and loan facilities. The construction is expected to start in 2013 and be complemented in 2015. SMCC started its first commercial production in 2001 with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes, which has been gradually increased to170,000 tonnes per year at present.

Saudi Maaden gets 5-year USD 2.4bn syndicated revolving Islamic loan.

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), has signed a SAR 9bn (USD 2.4bn) syndicated Murabaha revolving facility with 11 local and international banks, Maaden said in a bourse statement. The initial commitments exceeded SAR 17bn, registering almost a 2.5-fold oversubscription, thanks to the unprecedented response from leading financial institutions. The subscribing banks include the National Commercial Bank, Samba Financial Group, Banque Saudi Fransi, Riyad Bank, Saudi British Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, Bank Al Jazeera, J.P. Morgan Chase, Arab National Bank, Bank Al Bilad, and Saudi Investment Bank. The 5-year revolving loan was upsized from the initial SAR 7bn to SAR 9bn and represents the largest single-tranche syndicated corporate loan financing, and the second-largest syndicated SAR corporate loan financing ever concluded in Saudi Arabia. The loan is to finance the construction of an aluminum refinery Maaden will build in a joint venture with Alcoa Inc.

Saudi SATORP oil refinery to double capital to USD 1.9bn in 2013.

Saudi Aramco Total Refinery and Petrochemicals Company (SATORP), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and France's Total, is to double its capital to SAR 7.12bn (USD 1.9bn) in Q1 2013, Aramco said in a bourse statement. The capital is to be increased on a pro-rata basis. SATORP is building an oil refinery with a capacity to process 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, mostly from Aramco's Manifa 900,000 bpd oilfield. The refinery is to produce around 190,000 bpd of diesel, around 90,000 bpd of gasoline and 50,000 of kerosene and petrochemicals. SATORP is 62.5% owned by Aramco, while the remaining 37.5% stake is held by Total. The refinery is to become fully operational in Q3 2013.

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