The world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco confirmed on Wednesday it has just completed the issuance of $8 billion bonds that will help cover a multi-billion-dollar payout for its shareholders.

The oil giant kicked off the international bond issuance on November 16, marking its first time to return to the debt markets since last year.

The issuance of multi-year tranche bonds comes as the state-owned firm looks to raise cash amid low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a bourse filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), Aramco said it has issued a total of 40,000 bonds/ sukuk, with a yield of 1.25 percent for bonds maturing in three years, 1.625 percent for bonds maturing in five years, 2.25 percent for 10 years, 3.25 percent for 30 years and 3.5 percent for bonds maturing in 50 years.

It’s the first time the oil giant has offered a bond maturity of 50 years.

In April last year, Aramco announced the launch of its inaugural $12 billion international bond issue.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with low oil prices, has caused the oil producer’s profits to drop by nearly half (44.6 percent) and sales/revenue by 24.8 percent in the third quarter of the year. It needs some cash to pay $37.5 billion in dividends for the second half of the year.

The firm reported earlier this month that its net income for January to September this year was primarily hit by lower crude oil prices and volumes sold, as well as reduced refining and chemicals margins.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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