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Saudi Arabia Raises $5 Billion Via Dual-Tranche Bonds

Saudi Arabia raised $5 billion in a dual-tranche bond sale with tenors of 12 and 40 years, a document showed, as it seeks to plug a large fiscal deficit.

The world’s top oil exporter has taken a severe blow from the pandemic, which, along with an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia last year, sent oil prices tumbling.

The kingdom on Tuesday sold $2.75 billion in 12-year bonds at 130 basis points (bps) over 10-year U.S. Treasuries and $2.25 billion in 40-year notes at 3.45%, the document from one of the banks on the deal showed. It tightened the 12-year tranche by 35 bps and the 40-year by 30 bps from initial price guidance.

It drew more than $13 billion in orders for the 12-year bonds and over $9 billion in orders for the 40-year paper.

“The final pricing is in line with the sovereign curve and the high order book shows robust investor appetite for the region’s debt markets. This is sure to be the first of many deals by the kingdom this year,” a fixed-income strategist said.

The 12-year paper was trading up by 0.2% on Wednesday after pricing just below par late on Tuesday, he said, in a sign that the final allocations left some unsatisfied demand in the market. The 40-year bonds priced at par on Tuesday, and were trading up by 0.3% on Wednesday, he said.

The government expects to post a fiscal deficit of 141 billion riyals ($37.59 billion), or 4.9% of gross domestic product, this year after an expected deficit of 298 billion riyals ($79.45 billion), or 12% of GDP, in 2020.

Saudi Arabia expects public debt to increase to 937 billion riyals this year from 854 billion riyals last year.

“The Government expects to finance the budgeted deficit for the fiscal year 2021 primarily through a combination of raising domestic and external indebtedness, to the extent necessary,” according to a bond prospectus seen by Reuters.

Its fiscal balance programme foresees the ratio of public debt to nominal GDP reaching up to 30% by 2023, the prospectus said.

Saudi Arabia hired Goldman Sachs International, HSBC and JPMorgan as global coordinators for the debt sale. BNP Paribas, Citi, NCB Capital and Standard Chartered joined them as book runners and were also passive joint lead managers.

Last year, Saudi Arabia raised $12 billion via two international bond sales. Its oil giant Aramco raised $8 billion from a five-part bond sale in November, in part to pay out dividends - the bulk of which goes to the Saudi government.

($1 = 3.7510 riyals)

Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by William Maclean, Lisa Shumaker and Alex Richardson

Source: Reuters

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