The Strategist

JPMorgan and HSBC to place bonds of Saudi Arabia

03/05/2018 - 11:48

Saudi Arabia has chosen banks to arrange the placement of dollar bonds. Among them were JPMorgan Chase & Co. and HSBC Holdings Plc, reports Bloomberg referring to sources familiar with the situation.

ell brown via flickr
ell brown via flickr
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. will also act as organizers of the placement, which may take place already this month, interlocutors of the agency told.

The world's largest oil exporter plans to raise $ 31 billion this year to cover the expected budget deficit of $ 52 billion and finance growth plans.

On Friday, the kingdom said it was increasing the volume of the syndicated loan of $ 10 billion by $ 6 billion, after the existing lenders and new banks expressed "exceptional" interest.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia raised about $ 36 billion, including $ 14 billion in the sale of domestic bonds and $ 22 billion in international debt markets.

In December, Saudi Arabia announced that its budget deficit had declined in 2017 to less than 10% of GDP for the first time since the collapse of oil prices.

The deficit narrowed to 8.9% of GDP from 12.8% of GDP in 2016. A smaller deficit would be a welcome stimulus for the kingdom, which faced a decline in oil revenues, after oil prices fell in 2014.

As a result of the collapse in oil prices, the budget deficit of Saudi Arabia will increase to about 15% of GDP in 2015. Against this background, the authorities cut spending and introduced austerity measures, including a reduction in generous subsidies.

Although this policy helped to reduce the deficit, it also led to the worst economic downturn since the global financial crisis.

The government of Saudi Arabia expects that a record level of spending will lead to a strong economic recovery in 2018. Economists consider this a too optimistic forecast. Even after in January, King Salman ordered additional cash benefits to mitigate household losses, the average estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg suggests an increase of 1.6%, well below 2.7% in the budget of Saudi Arabia.

The reforms of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are aimed at ensuring that the economy of Saudi Arabia is better suited to the realities of the modern world. The reform program includes the sale of a stake in the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, the opening of the stock market to attract foreign investment and the creation of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.