Linklaters instructed by lenders to Saudi banks

Linklaters has advised several bank consortia on landmark loan facilities worth $1.98bn (£1.1bn) for Saudi financial institutions.

Banking partner Stephen Lucas led a team from the trade and developing markets group on the four transactions, which are the first of their kind in Saudi Arabia.

The firm acted for the lenders in each of the deals. The banks involved included Calyon, Citibank, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, with the borrowers all Saudi banks.

Loan facilities of $650m (£359.5m) and $600m (£331.8m) respectively were arranged for Banque Saudi Fransi and the Samba Financial Group, both advised by Baker & McKenzie from Bahrain. Clifford Chance‘s Dubai office acted for the Saudi Investment Bank on its $380m (£210.2m) loan, as well as the Arab National Bank, with an arrangement worth $350m (£193.6m).

The agreements were drafted to comply with Saudi banking law and Sharia law played a small role. All the deals were completed within the last eight months, beginning with the loan facility for Samba. It is expected that the Saudi market will now see an upturn in similar arrangements.

Lucas said the transactions reflected Linklaters’ commitment to the Middle East, as well as setting the benchmark for future deals.