Riyadh- Saudi Arabia has mandated investment banks to arrange the Kingdom’s first international sukuk denominated in dollars, the Finance Ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement it had appointed a number of local and global banks to coordinate meetings with fixed-income investors that would start on Sunday after which the sukuk would be issued according to capital market conditions.
The new issue would be Saudi Arabia’s second international bond sale after a $17.5 billion debut conventional bond issue last October; that was the largest-ever emerging market debt sale.
The Kingdom started tapping international debt markets to diversify its sources of finance and plug a huge budget deficit caused by low oil prices.
Citi, HSBC and JP Morgan are global coordinators on the planned issue.
BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank are also involved with lead roles, and other banks might join the group of lead managers, banking sources have said.
These developments come at a time when Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a provisional program rating of (P)A1 to the global Trust Certificate Issuance Program established by the Government of Saudi Arabia (A1 stable).
Saudi Arabia’s A1 rating and stable outlook are supported by a strong fiscal position, the Kingdom’s large oil and gas reserves at low production costs and high levels of external liquidity, said a report issued by Moody’s Investors Service.
Moody’s new rating coincides with the Finance Ministry’s confirmation that the country’s economy is based on strong foundations, noting the abundance of foreign exchange assets with Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).