National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has announced plans to arrange long-term Shari’ah-compliant financing next year to replace a bridge loan backing its $1.3bn acquisition of Saudi Aramco’s marine unit, Reuters has reported. The purchase of Vela was approved by Bahri shareholders at a meeting last Thursday, paving the way for a deal which makes Bahri the world’s fourth-largest owner of very large crude carriers (VLCCs). Bahri is funding the acquisition with new shares issued to Aramco and a SR3.18bn ($848m), 12-month Shari’ah-compliant bridge loan, which was agreed in February 2013 but signed on Sunday, it said in a bourse filing. This will be refinanced in the next year with long-term Islamic financing, details of which will be announced when agreed, Bahri added.
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