International investors have clamoured to buy Saudi Arabia’s first dollar bond issuance since the international outcry over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to Saudi’s finance ministry, the $7.5 billion sale of long-term debt sale attracted $27 billion of orders. Almost all the paper, which was split into two maturities (2029 and 2050), was bought by foreign investors with US-based buyers making up more than 40% of the two issues.
In addition, a number of high profile western investment banks including BNP Paribas, Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan have all stepped forward to manage the deal alongside Saudi asset manager NCB Capital.
The Khashoggi murder caused international outrage at the time and led a number of high profile bankers and financial figures to withdraw from attending a flagship economic forum in Riyadh.
However the response to the Saudi bond issuance shows that international investor appetite in the kingdom remains as high as ever.
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