Saudi Wraps Up $10bn Loan

Saudi Arabia this week put the final touches to a five-year $10bn bank loan, its first international debt issuance since 1991. The three lead lenders heading a consortium of global banks were Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), HSBC and JPMorgan. Each pledged around $1.3bn.

The issue was aimed at countering its dwindling oil revenues which has led Saudi Arabia to draw on roughly $150bn in financial reserves since late 2014, with reserves standing at $593bn as of end-February (see chart). According to the FT, bankers close to the deal said it had priced at around 120 basis points over Libor. MUFG deputy regional general manager Elyas AlGaseer, while declining to specify the rate, tells MEES that “the pricing was very competitive. This deal was one of the most successful transactions in the region for a long time.” (CONTINUED - 256 WORDS)