Bank ABC (Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C) has concluded a €24.9 million sustainability-linked credit arrangement for Saudi Paper Manufacturing Company, a publicly traded company on the Tadawul (SPM 2300). The financing, endorsed by the Italian Export Credit Agency via SACE, spans a five-year term with accompanying order notes.

A ceremonial signing took place at Bank ABC’s headquarters in Bahrain on 17 January 2024. Distinguished attendees included Bank ABC’s Wholesale Banking Group Head, Mr. Amr ElNokaly, and Corporates Group Head, Mr. Michael Davis, alongside Saudi Paper’s Board Member, Mr. Abdulaziz Raed Al Mashal, and CEO, Mr. Yousseri Abdul Hamid El-Bishry, among other high-ranking officials from both organisations.

This event marked Bank ABC’s inaugural bilateral sustainability-linked ECA deal on a global scale.

Mr. ElNokaly said, “Bank ABC is delighted to have arranged a Sustainability-linked credit facility supported by SACE ECA via our office in Milan, to help Saudi Paper obtain the best machinery for its expansion. The transaction is testament to our commitment towards the growing manufacturing sector in the region and we look forward to serving SPM as their banking partner.”

Saudi Paper extended their gratitude to Bank ABC for the pivotal role it played in funding its significant project (PM5). Mr. Al Mashal said, “Bank ABC’s competitive interest rates and unwavering support have positioned Saudi Paper Group for continued success and strengthened its commitment to driving the Kingdom’s industrial growth. The professionalism and efficiency demonstrated by Bank ABC throughout the financing process have been commendable. Thank you, Bank ABC, for your exceptional service and support. We are truly grateful for the strategic partnership that we have developed with Bank ABC and look forward to a continued collaboration in future endeavours .”

In the ceremony, Mr. Davis expressed his gratitude to SPM for their confidence in Bank ABC, highlighting the ECA-backed facility as a prime illustration of Bank ABC’s capability to leverage its international presence, notably through its Italian branch, to introduce innovative financial solutions.

Mr. Davis said, “We are proud to support Saudi Paper’s endeavour towards recycling and the circular economy.”

SACE expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with Bank ABC’s teams in Italy and the Middle East to better cater to the needs of regional clients and extend their backing.

Antonio Bartolo, SACE’s Regional Director, shared his satisfaction with the collaboration, noting, “It was a pleasure working alongside Bank ABC in this strategic transaction. The Paper Industry is an Italian excellence and SACE’s role is to help and support Italian companies in gaining recognition and generating additional business opportunities in strategic markets such as Saudi Arabia.”

Alessandro Mennucci, CEO of Toscotec, the Italian firm providing the new machinery, stated, “Toscotec is pleased to support SPM both as their technology supplier and assisting in the achievement of the credit facility deal, which is an important step for the successful implementation of this project”.

The funding aims to facilitate Saudi Paper’s growth strategy by financing the acquisition of cutting-edge machinery from Toscotec, which is expected to enhance SPM’s operational efficiencies in the forthcoming years.