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Asian interest could spur wave of Saudi bonds

Asian interest could spur wave of Saudi bonds

Demand from Asia could fuel a pipeline of Saudi bonds after a debut issuance expected later this year

Saudi Arabia has reportedly seen so much Asian interest in its first international debt sale it is considering a further pipeline of bonds.

The Financial Times cited banking sources saying interest in the kingdom’s $15bn issuance had attracted significant interest.

“We are seeing massive, massive demand,” one banker said. “Asian banks are throwing around billion-dollar numbers.”

Read: Landmark Saudi bond takes step forward

Saudi leaders are expected to discuss the country’s debt plans with potential investors during next week’s G20 meeting in China.

Detailed plans for the $15bn issuance expected to be set in late September after the Eid Al Adha holiday.

A roadshow setting the size and tenor of the deal could then begin at the start of October, according to the FT, with the deal potentially closing around October 7-9.

Sources told Reuters in June that Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan had been selected to manage the debut issuance.

Read: Saudi Arabia picks banks to manage multi-billion dollar bond

“Everyone is waiting to see how the appetite will turn out for the government, and at what price, which can then be used as a benchmark,” a second banker told the publication. “There should be some other issuance before the end of the year.”

He said the kingdom could return to the market next year if oil prices remained below $50 a barrel to help plug its budget deficit.

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