DUBAI: State-run Saudi Telecom has hired six banks to arrange its first issue of US dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds, the company said on Thursday.

Saudi corporates are increasingly expected to tap the international debt markets following the inclusion of Saudi government and quasi-government debt in key JP Morgan emerging market bond indexes this year.

The recent jumbo inaugural bond by state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco has also attracted new interest in Saudi borrowers, and has provided a fresh pricing benchmark for future issues by state-backed entities.

HSBC, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered, Samba, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and KFH have been hired as lead banks for the planned deal.

Saudi Arabia’s biggest telecommunications operator said it had applied to list the sukuk with the Irish Stock Exchange.

The sukuk — the size of which will depend on market conditions and demand — are part of the company’s $5 billion (Dh18.36 billion) sukuk programme, established last month to back general corporate purposes.