Banking and finance in Saudi Arabia

Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited

Project finance and real estate finance are the two key pillars of Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited's practice. Practice head Ian Siddell recently advised  HSBC Saudi Arabia and Arab National Bank collectively on a greenfield 300MWac solar photovoltaic project. Basel Barakat is also a key figure and assisted Saudi Binladin Group with its financing from a consortium of banks concerning the construction of the King Abdullah Financial District. In other work, Julie Alexander acted for Banque Saudi Fransi on its murabaha financing facility to a Saudi Arabian corporate. Bilal Kahlon left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Ian Siddell

Testimonials

‘Very capable, professional and accessible.’

‘Moshin Iqbal and Nadeem Kunwar are very pragmatic, commercial and client-focused individuals whose work is first rate.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Ma’aden Rolling Company on a $84m receivables purchase programme.
  • Advising Riyad Bank on re-documenting existing conventional facilities made available to a major Saudi Arabian petrochemical company on an Islamic financing basis.
  • Assisted Ma’aden Rolling Company with its $84m  receivables purchase programme.

Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance

Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance has expertise in areas including Islamic finance, project finance, asset finance, and acquisition finance, and acts for international and domestic financial institutions. Yasser Al-Hussain leads the practice and advises borrowers, lenders and sponsors on major financings; he advised HSBC Saudi Arabia, The Saudi British Bank and Al Rajhi Bank on the Islamic financing of Saudi Airlines Cargo Company. In 2019, the team was further strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Abdulkhaliq ElShayya, who is experienced in Islamic finance, and of counsel Michael Quigley, who specialises in project finance; they joined from Khoshaim & Associates in cooperation with Allen & Overy LLP and Dr. Saud Al-Ammari Law Firm in association with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Yasser Al-Hussain

Key clients

HSBC Saudi Arabia

National Commercial Bank

The Saudi British Bank

Al-Rajhi Bank

Arab National Bank

SAMBA Financial Group

Banque Saudi Fransi

Work highlights

  • Advising the National Commercial Bank on the drafting and finalisation of financing documents relating to the SAR1.5bn Murabaha facility to Kingdom Holding Company.
  • Acting for the lenders on the review, negotiation and finalisation of the finance documents relating to the $2.15bn revolving credit facility provided to Saudi Electricity Company.
  • Advising the lenders on the review, negotiation and finalisation of a term Murabah facility provided to SEC for its capital expenditure and corporate purposes

Khoshaim & Associates

Khoshaim & Associates in cooperation with Allen & Overy LLP is led by the 'truly one of a kind' Karim Wali, who has expertise in both conventional and Islamic financings. Clients include major multinational and local clients. In recent work, Wali advised Arab National Bank, as lender, on the c. SAR1.17bn financing of Al Fadhili Real Estate Development Company, which is intended to be used for the development of housing for Saudi Aramco employees. The team was strengthened by the addition of counsel Hamdan van den Brule, who is able to draw on previous in-house experience as general counsel at the Saudi petroleum company Sibic.

Practice head(s):

Karim Wali 

Other key lawyers:

Hamdan van den Brule

Testimonials

Karim Wali was unlike any other we have dealt with in terms of his availability and engagement. He was always supportive and considers his clients as partners.’

Key clients

Al Rahji Banking and Investment Corporation

Banque Saudi Fransi

Riyad Bank

Samba Financial Group

The National Commercial Bank

The Saudi British Bank

Yamama Cement Company

Ma’aden

ACWA Power

Arab National Bank

National Commercial Bank

Saudi Arabian Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders, Samba Financial Group, Riyad Bank, Alinma Bank, Gulf International Bank, Bank Albilad, Arab National Bank, The Saudi British Bank, National Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait Finance House K.S.C.P. on an Islamic term financing of up to SAR5.6bn for Shomoul Mall Commercial Company concerning the development of the Avenues mall in Riyadh.
  • Advising Banque Saudi Fransi on the SAR2bn financing of the National Industrialization Company.
  • Worked with National Industrialization Co, who signed a SAR 2 billion Murabaha loan agreement with Banque Saudi Fransi.

Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in association with Latham & Watkins LLP

Debt restructuring is the standout speciality of Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in association with Latham & Watkins LLP's team, but it is also highly capable advising on conventional and Islamic financing, project finance, real estate finance and derivatives. Name partner Salman Al-Sudairi jointly heads the practice and is an expert in Islamic finance and restructurings. Dubai-based Harj Rai is another name of note and is an expert in Islamic, finance particularly when it comes to murabaha loans. Counsel Amar N Meher is also highly skilled at handling restructurings and advised a consortium of creditors on the SAR40bn debt restructuring of Saad Trading/Al-Sanea.

Practice head(s):

Salman Al-Sudairi

Other key lawyers:

Harj Rai; Amar N Meher

Key clients

Public Investment Fund

SABB

HBSC Saudi Arabia

NCB

Riyad Bank

Banque Saudi Fransi

Samba Financial Group

Alawwal Bank

Al Rajhi Bank

Arab National Bank

Saudi Aramco

SABIC

Work highlights

  • Advised on phase 2 of the restructuring of conventional and Islamic loans of Al-Ittefaq Steel Products Company.
  • Assisted Maaden Bauxite and Alumina Company, a multi-commodity mining and metals company, with an amendment to a term-loan facility to refinance existing debt.
  • Advised on an amendment and restatement to murabaha term loans and working capital facilities for Al-Etisalat Al-Mutanakilah Al-Saudia Company (Zain KSA), a provider of mobile telecoms services in Saudi Arabia.

DLA Piper in collaboration with Amer Al Amr Law Firm

DLA Piper in collaboration with Amer Al Amr Law Firm is recognised for its strength in project financing, but also excels in Islamic finance, conventional finance, acquisition finance and derivatives. Paul Latto leads the team and acts for global financial institutions as well as major public bodies on banking and finance matters. In recent work, Latto advised Saudia Cargo and the Acwa group on a SAR1.2bn infrastructure project financing for new cargo terminals. Keith Bullen, who is based in Dubai, is another key figure and specialises in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Paul Latto 

Other key lawyers:

Keith Bullen 

Key clients

HSBC Saudi Arabia

Deutsche Bank

Saudia Cargo

Credit Suisse

Standard Chartered Bank

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

Work highlights

  • Acting for Bank ABC, National Bank of Kuwait, National Bank of Bahrain, Mashreq Bank and Ahli United Bank on the refinancing and provision of an additional debt facility relating to the Al Ezzel Power Company in Bahrain.
  • Acting for Alfanar Energy on its bid for the 100MW Askar Solar PV IPP in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the first utility-scale solar project in Bahrain.

Hammad Al-Mehdar & Co in alliance with Simmons & Simmons LLP

Hammad Al-Mehdar & Co in alliance with Simmons & Simmons LLP's expertise in this space covers derivatives, trade finance, real estate finance and project finance. Ahmed Butt leads the practice and has advised major domestic and international banks on shari'ah-compliant financing.

Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni In association with Dechert LLP

Project finance forms the bedrock of Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni In association with Dechert LLP's banking and finance practice. Legal consultant Atif Mulla, who leads the team, advised Acwa Power on its bid for a solar power project. In other work, Emad Zahrani assisted Axia Power Holdings B.V., JGC Corporation and Al-Jomaih Holding Company with the refinancing arrangement for the Saudi Aramco co-generation projects at Abqaiq, Hawiyah and Ras Tanura.

Practice head(s):

Atif Mulla

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel for Atrafin on the closing of two Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed equipment finance loans to borrower, Al Hidada Ltd.(“Hidada”), part of the Xenel Group.
  • Assisted the Saudi Binladin Group with the restructuring of the $266m shari’ah-compliant multi-option banking facilities (including a letter of credit facility, a guarantee issuing facility and a murabaha facility) relating to the construction works for the landmark Capital Market Authority Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Assisted Axia Power Holdings B.V., JGC Corporation and Al-Jomaih Holding Company with the refinancing arrangement for the Saudi Aramco co-generation projects at Abqaiq, Hawiyah and Ras Tanura

Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co.

Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. is regularly instructed as local counsel on major financings involving international law firms without an affiliate office in Riyadh. Testament to this was practice head Ali Abedi's advice to Acwa Power on the development and financing of Saudi Arabia’s first renewable energy project alongside Covington & Burling LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ali Abedi 

Testimonials

‘Due to their long running continuity in the Saudi legal market and their Saudi lawyers, their greatest asset is their in-depth of knowledge of Saudi/Islamic law, legislation, and the practices, and procedures of the various Saudi governmental authorities.’

‘Another significant asset at their disposal is their team’s ability to work effectively in both English and Arabic. They are one of the few all Saudi firms that have substance as they actually have people on the ground.’

Key clients

ACWA Power

The Dow Chemical Company and Sadara Chemical Company

Metito

Citicorp

Work highlights

  • Advising Acwa Power on the development and financing of Saudi Arabia’s first renewable energy project under the Kingdom’s new National Renewable Energy Programme.
  • Assisting Acwa Power and Nomac with the Saudi aspects of the Al Dur Independent Waste Water & Power Plant in Al Dur, Bahrain.
  • Assisted Dow and Sadara Chemical Company with its joint venture with Saudi Aramco for the development, financing and construction of a petrochemicals complex in Jubail.

King & Spalding in Affiliation With the Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar

King & Spalding in affiliation with the Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar is highly skilled in project finance, corporate finance and acquisition finance. The team primarily draws upon its affiliated Dubai office, where Jawad I. Ali heads the practice and Zaid H. Al-Farisi is another notable name. The former is very strong in Islamic and real estate finance, while the latter is highly experienced in cross-border financing.

Practice head(s):

Jawad I. Ali

Key clients

The National Commercial Bank

Arab National Bank

Samba Financial Group

Jabal Omar Development Company

Riyad Bank

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

SAIMCO

Gulf International Bank

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

JP Morgan

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is highly skilled in corporate, real estate and project finance. Robin Balmer leads the practice and acted for Citibank and JP Morgan on an $80m corporate financing to the Oil and Gas Holding Company B.S.C.  He also assisted Al Rajhi Bank with its SAR1bn murabaha financing to Derayah REIT Fund, a real estate investment trust fund.

Practice head(s):

Robin Balmer

Key clients

Samba Financial Group

The Saudi British Bank

HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited

Riyad Bank

Banque Saudi Fransi

Al Rajhi Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

BNP Paribas

The Islamic Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for the senior and EBL lenders on the project financing of the Rabigh 3 seawater desalination plant and associated facilities in Rabigh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Acting for Riyad Bank on a SAR200m corporate financing provided to International Polymers Company.

3 Verulam Buildings

The Law Office of Megren M. Al-Shaalan in cooperation with White & Case is regularly instructed in major real estate and project finance mandates. Recent work includes advising a financial consortium on the SAR2.15bn Islamic project financing for the construction of a new petrochemicals complex in Yanbu. Doug Peel leads the team and has extensive experience advising on energy project financing. Adam Pierson is another key name; he advised on Saudi Aramco's $1.1bn financing of a major residential camp.

Practice head(s):

Doug Peel

Testimonials

‘Unbelievable 24 hour commitment to deals with superb drafting and advice.’

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company

Saudi Arabian Mining Company

National Water Company

Water & Electricity Company

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre

National Commercial Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

Citi

Al Rajhi Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Water & Electricity Company on three greenfield water and wastewater treatment plant PPPs: the Jeddah sewage treatment plant PPP, the Dammam sewage treatment plant PPP, and the Taif Water field project sewage treatment plant PPP.
  • Assisting Saudi National Commercial Bank with the expected financing of the concession for the construction and operation of Taif International Airport under a PPP structure by to the preferred bidding consortium (consisting of Asyad Group, Consolidated Contractors Company and Munich Airport).
  • Advised the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) on the establishment of its inaugural domestic SAR11bn sukuk issuance programme, and the issuance thereunder of SAR750m across four series financings.

Law Office of Mohanned bin Saud Al-Rasheed in association with Baker Botts L.L.P.

Law Office of Mohanned bin Saud Al-Rasheed in association with Baker Botts L.L.P. is highly skilled in handling corporate finance, real estate finance and project finance matters. Shadi Haroon, who is a key name for corporate finance, and Stephen Matthews, who splits his time between the firm's Dubai and Riyadh offices, jointly head the team. He recently advised Derayah REIT Fund on the SAR1bn, shari’ah-compliant Bei Ajel finance facility it received from Al-Rajhi Banking and Finance Corporation. The team has also been strengthened by the addition of project finance specialist Euan Pinkerton, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Practice head(s):

Shadi Haroon; Stephen Matthews

Key clients

The Saudi Investment Bank

Al-Istithmar for Financial Services & Brokerage Company

Derayah Financial

McDermott

Work highlights

  • Assisting McDermott with the Saudi Arabian elements of a global-secured syndicated financing led by Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank.
  • Advised  Derayah REIT Fund in its role as borrower on a SAR1bn, shari’ah-compliant Bei Ajel finance facility with Al-Rajhi Banking and Finance Corporation.

The Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan in association with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons

The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons is notably strong in project and Islamic financing, particularly in the area of ijarah financings. Managing partner Mahmoud Abdel-Baky, who heads the team, advised the National Commercial Bank on the SAR650m ijarah financing of Al Ahli REIT Fund 1, which was the first financing of a publicly-listed real estate fund.

Practice head(s):

Mahmoud Abdel-Baky

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Fawaz Abdulaziz Al-Hokair and Company

HSBC Saudi Arabia

Samba Financial Group

Standard Chartered Bank

The Commercial International Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised National Commercial Bank on the SAR1.4bn ijara financing provided to Swicorp Wabel REIT Fund.
  • Advised the National Commercial Bank on the SAR650m ijarah financing of Al Ahli REIT Fund 1, which was the first financing of a publicly-listed real estate fund.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company stands out for its work in aviation finance, but is also highly skilled in corporate finance and project finance work. Rafiq Jaffer leads the team and recently advised Dubai Aerospace Enterprise on the SAR300m lease and sub-lease of eight Airbus A320 aircraft.

Practice head(s):

Rafiq Jaffer

Key clients

Saudi Arabian British Bank

Al Rajhi Bank

HSBC Saudi Arabia

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Bank of America

MUFG

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Advising Sabb on template documentation, including loan facility and security documents.
  • Acted for Dubai Aerospace Enterprise on the SAR300m lease and sub-lease of eight Airbus A320 aircraft.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP advises on Islamic finance, asset finance and banking-related regulatory matters. Islamic finance expert Adil Hussain leads the firm's Middle Eastern banking and finance group and splits his time between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. In the Riyadh office, Glenn Lovell is a key figure and is also very experienced in Islamic finance transactions. Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily advises on Islamic finance structures but is also very experienced in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Adil Hussain

Other key lawyers:

Glenn Lovell; Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily

Key clients

Bidaya Home Finance

Maalem Financing Company

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Aramex PJSC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Jabal Omar Development Company

Riyad Bank

Al Dara Medical Corporation

Interhealth Canada Limited, Saudi Arabia Branch

AES Arabia Limited

Inter Health Canada

Work highlights

  • Advising  Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector on its £8.2m loan facility in conjunction with a matched conventional loan facility from the African Development Bank for the construction of the Horizons Clinic Gambia Project.
  • Acted for Aldara Medical Corporation on its successful initial project financing and on a selection of privately placed sukuk bonds.
  • Advised AES Arabia Limited on a structured SAR100m Banque Saudi Fransi Islamic facility and escrow arrangement.

Zamakhchary & Co. in agreement with Linklaters

Zamakhchary & Co. in agreement with Linklaters's team has handled a number of acquisition, Islamic and project financing mandates in the region. Newly promoted partner Omar El Sayed is a key name in the Riyadh office; he advised Saudi Electricity Company on its $2.15bn revolving credit facility. The practice draws upon its Dubai office with project finance specialist Sarosh Mewawalla and banking expert Kieron Zaman also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Omar El Sayed

Key clients

Al Ahli REIT

Alinma Bank

Al Qahtani Holdings

Arab National Bank

Banque Saudi Fransi

BNP Paribas

Citibank

Citibank NA

Dekabank Deutsche Girozentrale

Deutsche Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank

Emirates NBD

Engie

Ezdan Holding Group Q.S.C

Farabi Petrochemicals Company

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

GEMS Education

Goldman Sachs

Government of the Emirate of Sharjah

Government of the Sultanate of Oman

HSBC Middle East Limited

Integrated Telecoms Company

Islamic Development Bank

Morgan Stanley

Qatar Islamic Bank

Qatar National Bank

Riyadh Bank Samba Bank

Saudi British Bank

Saudi Electricity Company

Saudi Hollandi Bank

Saudi Railway Organisation

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

The National Commercial Bank

The Saudi British Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Integrated Telecoms Company on its $180m export credit agency-backed financing.
  • Advised the Saudi Investment Recycling Company on the acquisition financing of Global Environmental Management Services from a consortium of investors.
  • Acted for Al Ahli REIT on its debut SAR600m ijarah financing provided by National Commercial Bank.