Saudi Arabia has issued $12 billion in debt, marking its most significant foreign borrowing since 2017, at a time when emerging-market nations are increasingly investing in bonds.
What Happened: The desert kingdom’s borrowing contributes to the nearly $25 billion of bonds that developing countries have issued since the start of the year, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The largest of these was a $7.5 billion offering from Mexico.
This borrowing by Saudi Arabia accounts for more than half the fiscal deficit projected by the government for this year. This move comes as many borrowers look to benefit from lower financing costs following a significant drop in US Treasury yields since October.
The oil-rich nation sold six, ten, and thirty-year notes with respective yields of 4.89%, 5.13%, and 5.91%. The main banks handling the Saudi sale were Citigroup Inc. C, JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, HSBC Holdings Plc HSBC, and Standard Chartered Plc SCBFF.
However, the latest borrowing is estimated to cover only about a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s total funding requirements, according to Khatija Haque, chief economist at Emirates NBD Bank PJSC. Despite this, Haque emphasized that the nation’s debt stock remains “very low”, leaving “plenty of scope for the government to raise capital.”
Meanwhile, in a move that has sent shockwaves through the oil market, Saudi Arabia has drastically reduced oil prices, leading to a significant increase in short positions in both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate crude.
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