DUBAI- Saudi Arabia has selected Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Morgan Stanley as the main banks that will arrange its next U.S. dollar bond issue, sources familiar with the matter said.
The country is planning to borrow funds in the international debt capital markets soon, in what would be its fourth international public debt issue.
Both Saudi Arabia’s Debt Management Office and the four banks declined to comment.
Saudi Arabia started raising U.S. dollar debt in 2016 through a $10 billion syndicated loan, as the country’s finances were squeezed by a slump in oil prices.
After the loan deal, the country started borrowing internationally through jumbo bond issues, establishing itself as the most prominent issuer in the region.
It sold a $17.5 billion bond in 2016 – the largest bond ever sold by an emerging market issuer – followed by a $9 billion sukuk and a $12.5 billion conventional bond in 2017.
It is not clear whether the upcoming deal will be as large as Saudi’s previous issues. The head of the Debt Management Office (DMO) said in October last year that the government was considering whether to make a greater number of international bond sales but reduce the size of the transactions.
Saudi Arabia has recently refinanced, extended and upsized its $10 billion loan, bringing the facility up to $16 billion.
The DMO said in January that it had contacted banks requesting proposals to refinance the loan facility, arrange further U.S dollar debt issuance and for additional financing supported by foreign countries’ export credit agencies.
“The bond request for proposal is a continuation of the funding programme established by KSA in 2016, and as part of the Kingdom’s commitment to the international debt market,” the DMO said at the time.
(Additional reporting by Davide Barbuscia and Tom Arnold. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))