Saudi Raises $3.5bn Sukuk

Saudi Arabia’s second domestic sukuk has raised SR13bn ($3.5bn), slightly less than the first sukuk issue of $4.5bn sold last month ( MEES, 28 July ). The latest issue, almost three times oversubscribed, consisted of three tranches: SR2.1bn ($560mn) maturing in 2022; SR7.7bn ($2.05bn) due in 2024; and SR3.2bn ($853mn) maturing in 2027, the Ministry of Finance announced this week.

With the plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 Saudi Arabia is increasingly resorting to borrowing from the domestic and international debt markets to cover its fiscal deficit rather than to run down its foreign reserves which had fallen by 32.5% from $732.4bn at end-2014 to $494.5bn at end-July. (CONTINUED - 254 WORDS)