RIYADH: Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) said on Wednesday it had signed a $1.75 billion international syndicated loan to help finance capital expenditure plans. The five-year bullet loan is co-financed by eight major international banks including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Natixis, Citibank and First Abu Dhabi Bank, it said in a statement. The company did not detail the “diverse” capital spending plans the proceeds of the unsecured loan will be used for. Reuters reported in May that the company was talking to banks about a syndicated loan, with sources saying the company had decided against tapping the bond market for the deal because bankers felt that changes to the electricity sector as part of Saudi Arabia’s
National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 might make it too hard to sell to bond investors. Under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which is aimed at diversifying the economy away from oil, the state-controlled utility will be split into separate companies that would be offered either to local citizens through offers on the stock market or to local or international companies through acquisitions. In June last year SEC signed a $1.5 billion five-year financing from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of the largest loans ever extended by a Chinese bank in the Gulf. In January 2016 it signed a $1.4 billion three-year revolving credit facility with a group of seven banks: MUFG, Mizuho Bank, SMBC, HSBC, JP Morgan, Credit Agricole and Deutsche Bank.