Saudi Aramco Re-enters Debt Market With Sale of Three Tranches of Dollar Bond

Saudi Aramco Re-enters Debt Market With Sale of Three Tranches of Dollar Bond

– Aramco returns to global debt markets after a three-year hiatus, planning a bond issuance with maturities of 10, 30, and 40 years, aiming for a benchmark-sized offering.

– Investor calls are scheduled ahead of the issuance, though specific details on the volume remain undisclosed, according to documents from participating banks.

– Anticipated to raise a minimum of $3 billion, Aramco’s move aligns with recent regional trends as Gulf corporations capitalize on favorable market conditions, following Saudi Arabia’s earlier $12 billion bond issuance in January.

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil behemoth, Aramco, returned to the global debt market following a three-year absence, engaging banks to issue bonds maturing over 10, 30, and 40 years, according to a document from one of the participating banks.

The issuance, expected to be of benchmark size, will be preceded by investor calls scheduled for Tuesday, though specific details on the volume were not disclosed in the document.

Sources familiar with the matter anticipate Aramco to raise a minimum of $3 billion across the three segments. This move comes amidst a flurry of activity among Gulf corporations and governments capitalizing on favorable market conditions. Saudi Arabia, endowed with substantial oil reserves, had earlier issued $12 billion in dollar-denominated bonds in January.

Aramco’s last foray into global debt markets was in 2021, when it raised $6 billion through sukuk, or Islamic bonds. The company indicated in February its intention to pursue bond issuances this year.

In a related development, the Saudi government recently garnered $11.2 billion by selling a 0.64% stake in Aramco. This transaction aims to bolster the nation’s finances and support its diversificatio efforts under “Vision 2030,” a strategic plan aimed at reducing dependency on oil.

Despite a 14% decline in first-quarter profits, Aramco maintained its substantial $31 billion dividend payout. For 2024, the company plans to distribute $124.3 billion in dividends, primarily benefiting the Saudi government.

A portion of these funds will also contribute to the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund tasked with steering Vision 2030. In a significant move last May, PIF acquired an additional 8% stake in Aramco from the government, thereby doubling its holdings.

Renowned financial institutions such as Citi, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and SNB Capital have been appointed as joint active bookrunners for the bond sale.

Additionally, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, BofA Securities, Bank of China, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, GIB Capital, and Mizuho are among the joint passive bookrunners involved in the transaction.

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