Saudis’ first dollar bond sale since Khashoggi killing is a success

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2018, demanding justice for missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2018, demanding justice for missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Saudi Arabia raised $7.5 billion in its first dollar bond sale since the killing of Saudi dissident and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi incited an international uproar.

Khashoggi’s killing sparked concerns that international investors would shun the kingdom. Saudi Arabia is prosecuting several agents and officials allegedly involved in the slaying at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Riyadh denies that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder, but the CIA has reportedly concluded that the king-in-waiting was complicit in the killing.

While some business executives have cut ties with the kingdom over the incident, bond buyers do not appear ready to overlook an investment opportunity in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.

The issuance was nearly four times oversubscribed, with the order book peaking at $27.5 billion, according to the Saudi Ministry of Finance.

Saudi Arabia sold $4 billion in 10-year notes that mature in 2029, and $3.5 billion in in 31-year notes that come due in 2050.

U.S.-based investors accounted for 40 percent of the 2029 bond purchases and 45 percent of the 2050 debt, according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said state-owned oil giant Aramco will issue bonds in the second quarter of this year. The debt will most likely be issued in dollars, he said.

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