Aramco raises $6bn through first US dollar sukuk sale

The offer was hugely oversubscribed, with orders exceeding $60bn

FILE PHOTO: A view shows branded oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil-exporting company, raised $6 billion through its first US dollar-denominated sukuk issue.

The company raised $1bn through the issue of three-year notes offering a profit rate of 0.946 per cent, $2bn through 15-year notes with a profit rate of 1.602 per cent and $3bn through 20-year notes with a rate of 2.694 per cent, it said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are very pleased with the global investment community’s response to Aramco’s first international dollar sukuk, which attracted demand 20 times the initial targeted issuance size," the company's president and chief executive Amin Nasser said.

Earlier this month, Aramco said it had hired a number of banks including Al Rajhi Capital, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Goldman Sachs to advise on its sukuk issuance. The debt is being used for "general corporate purposes", the company said.

Debt issuance from the Gulf is on track to hit about $125bn this year, in line with last year's levels, emerging markets asset manager Franklin Templeton said earlier this week. Debt from corporate issuers is expected to make up a greater proportion of this, as sovereign issuance falls to about 30 per cent of the total, from 50 per cent last year.

The dollar-denominated sukuk issued by Aramco will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

“We are delighted with the strong reception for our inaugural international sukuk offering that led to the largest order book ever recorded globally for a dollar-denominated sukuk transaction, with orders exceeding $60bn," Khalid Al-Dabbagh, Aramco's senior vice president of finance, strategy and development, said.

"The success of the transaction is a strong endorsement from the global investment community of our leading position in the industry, and our ability to deliver on our long-term business strategy. The issuance attracted more than 100 new investors across the globe.”

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