Saudi Arabia raises 7.67bn riyals through dual tranche sukuk

The deal is part of the government’s domestic sukuk programme

Saudi Arabia raised 7.67 billion riyals ($2.04bn) through the sale of Sharia-complaint bonds, as the Arab World’s biggest economy continues to diversify its funding base.

The dual-tranche Saudi riyal-denominated issuance for the month of March is part of the government’s domestic sukuk programme, the kingdom’s National Debt Management Centre said in a statement on Wednesday, carried by state news agency SPA.

The first tranche of 2.71bn riyals matures in 2028, while the second 4.96bn riyals tranche will mature in 2031.

Saudi Arabia, which generates the bulk of its revenue through the sale of hydrocarbons, is diversifying its funding base in line with its Vision 2030 economic agenda and its Fiscal Balance and Financial Sector Development programmes.

The kingdom, which has regularly tapped the domestic debt market, raised €1.5bn ($1.82bn) through the sale of euro-denominated bonds in January, its second foray into the international bond market, after securing $5bn from a two-tranche, US dollar-denominated offering.

In February, Saudi Arabia’s minister of finance and acting minister of economy, Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the NDMC will continue to expand its investor base with a focus on developing and deepening the country’s domestic debt markets. It will also seek “access to global debt markets as part of its risk management strategy and obtaining fair prices”.

Saudi Arabia's debt portfolio rose by 176bn riyals, or about 26 per cent, in 2020. Based on its budget statement, the kingdom expects government borrowing to rise to about 937bn riyals by the end of this year, or more than 32 per cent of gross domestic product, according to NDMC's 2021 debt forecast.