Riyadh mandates banks for bond issue

27 June 2016

Saudi Arabia has selected JPMorgan, HSBC, and Citi debut international bond

Saudi Arabia has selected JPMorgan, HSBC and Citigroup to help it raise funds through the sale of its debut international bond.

The three lenders are acting as global coordinators on the bond issue, according to news agency Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter. Saudi Arabia is likely to add more lenders from Japan and Europe as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners on the transaction, sources told MEED.

JPMorgan and HSBC were the frontrunners for the mandate for some time, according to the sources. However, a decision on the mandates was made over the weekend and Saudi Arabia will probably wait until after the summer before selling the bonds to raise at least $10bn, according to the news agency.

HSBC, JPMorgan, Citi and Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry declined to comment.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, is queued up to join its other counterparts from six-member economic bloc of GCC to tap international debt markets to plug budget deficits.

The kingdom has been selling riyal bonds to local banks and financial institutions since August last year to shore up its finances after price of oil slumped from mid-2014 peak of more than $110 per barrel to current below $47 per barrel level. Revenues from sale of hydrocarbons accounted for more than 70 per cent of the government revenues last year.

In April, Riyadh secured $10bn loan, its first foray into the international debt markets in 15 years from a group of US, European, Japanese and Chinese banks. Its first sovereign bond is expected to come in five-, 10- and 30-year bonds once Ramadan ends in early July.


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