Saudi-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) has announced the establishment of a US$3bn sukuk programme.

The energy-focused multilateral development bank, created and owned by the governments of the 10 member states of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), is looking to issue its first sukuk by the end of this year, as part of the programme. According to an Apicorp statement, Standard Chartered is acting as the sole arranger.

Apicorp’s chairman, Aabed A. Al-Saadoun, says: “We are delighted to have established this sukuk programme which, in line with the recently approved corporate strategy, will allow Apicorp to diversify its funding sources, reduce the overall cost of financing, extend the company’s debt maturity profile and enhance our access to a diverse set of global investors.”

According to Al-Saadoun, the programme will enable Apicorp to extend attractive financing terms to its clients and partners alike, and enhance Apicorp’s ability to participate in financing some energy-related projects which may not otherwise attract the commercial banks.