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Saudi Arabia to Borrow Money from International Market

RabatSaudi Arabia has begun talks with potential investors to launch a deposit of international bonds based on the U.S. dollar in order to borrow money from the international market for the first time in its history.

The news came from the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), which explained that the Ministry of Finance has put together “an international program to issue the instruments of debt…and has appointed a number of national and international banks in order to coordinate a series of meetings with investors in debt instruments.”

The same source iterated that the Saudi Ministry of Finance has tasked these investment banks with the mission of managing and organizing the first deposit of the international bonds denominated in U.S. dollars, adding that “this deposit will depend on the conditions of the market.”

According to the Arabic-speaking news source France24, Oxford Economics analyst Patrick Dennis told the French news agency (AFP) that the funds that Saudi Arabia will raise are estimated around $15 billion, which is sufficient to face the economic problems that resulted from the drop of oil revenues since circa mid-2014.

Dennis added that due to its nonexistent debt record, Saudi Arabia will not face any significant issues in raising capital, but it will be the first time the kingdom finds it necessary to borrow from international markets

The Saudi daily newspaper Alhayah, quoted in France24, noted that the Saudi debts have gradually increased, with deficits of $11.8 billion in 2014, $37.9 billion in 2015 and $73 billion in 2016.

This deficit coupled with the $170 billion decline in Saudi reserves, pushed the Saudi government to launch a new program last April called “Saudi Vision 2030.” This program aims to diversify the kingdom’s sources of revenue, which has primarily been based on oil for decades.

Dennis told AFP that due to its nonexistent debt record, Saudi Arabia will not face any significant issues in raising capital, but it will be the first time the kingdom finds it necessary to borrow from international markets.

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