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Saudi Arabia Promotes First International Bonds | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Lebanese banker counts US dollars at BLOM Bank’s head office in Beirut October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

Khobar- Saudi Arabia will meet investors on Wednesday and Thursday in London followed by three-day meetings in the U.S. which will conclude on October 18 to sell its first international issuance of Saudi government bonds.

During the meetings, attendees will discuss the Saudi plan to issue dollar denominated bonds for a period of five, ten and 30 years.

The government published a bond circular of around 220 pages rich in information about the financial market in Saudi Arabia.

Major points mentioned in the circular were: The income of oil dropped 70% in the past five years, the kingdom dropped capital and government expenditure, and oil reserves (around 266 billion barrels) are sufficient for seventy years.

The circular added that Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) is still dedicated to pegging the currency to the dollar, adding there are no guarantees that the government might not reconsider the exchange rates in case of any unexpected future events.

Bloomberg revealed, based on the Saudi government bond circular, that capital expenditure is forecast to drop 71% in 2016 to reach USD20.21 billion (SAR75.8 billion) compared to USD70.32 billion (SAR263.7 billion) in 2015.

Bloomberg added that the circular highlighted the government’s appreciation of the reduction of deficit in the budget to 13.5% of the GDP in 2016 compared to 15% in 2015. The circular also expected a decrease in the current expenditure to USD154.98 billion (SAR581.2 billion) compared to USD190.56 billion (SAR714.4 billion), before the decision to reduce government bonus and salaries.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance announced on Monday developing an international program to issue bonds, the first borrowing of Saudi Arabia from the international market. As part of this program, local and international banks were mandated as joint lead managers and joint book runners on the Saudi bond sale.