PIF-backed Saudi Real Estate Refinance raises 4bn riyals through sukuk

The offer was oversubscribed, with orders in excess of 8bn riyals received

FILE PHOTO: A view shows buildings and houses in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), an organisation owned by the Public Investment Fund, raised 4 billion Saudi riyals ($1.07bn) through the issuance of a dual tenor sukuk or Islamic bonds.

“The issuances were a private offering to Saudi-based institutional investors attracting an orderbook in excess of 8bn riyals, which represents an oversubscription of 2.15 times,” the company said on Tuesday.

The issuance is part of the newly launched 10bn riyals sukuk programme under which SRC will issue sovereign-guaranteed sukuk targeting local investors.

“The successful sukuk issuance demonstrates confidence among the investor community and trust in a robust housing market in the kingdom and more broadly a resilient Saudi economy,” Majed Al Hogail, the country’s minister of housing and chairman of SRC, said.

Over 30 per cent of the issuance was subscribed by a mix of asset managers, a pension fund, government funds and insurance companies.

SRC was co-founded by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund and the Ministry of Housing in October 2017 to boost home ownership in the biggest Arab economy.

It does not lend directly to end-users, but provides liquidity to the home loans market by buying mortgages from banks and other lenders, freeing them up to extend more loans to the sector.

“The favourable cost of funding for SRC ultimately translates to an ecosystem where mortgages are more affordable and accessible to our citizens," Mr Al Hogail said. "The sukuk programme brings us one step closer to achieving the strategic objectives of the housing programme under Vision 2030.”

Increasing home ownership among nationals is a key tenet of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, a roadmap that aims to diversify its economy.

The kingdom exceeded its target of having 60 per cent of its nationals own homes by 2020. The government is now aiming to boost home ownership among Saudi Arabia citizens to 70 per cent by 2030, up from 62 per cent at present, according to Reuters.

“The latest sovereign-guaranteed offering, underpinned by favourable cost of funding and terms, will further provide liquidity to the Saudi housing market that helps our citizens climb the housing ladder,” Fabrice Susini, chief executive of SRC, said.