Saudi Arabia local bond borrowing at all-time high

Saudi Arabia local bond borrowing at all-time high
Published: 3 May 2016 - 5 a.m.
By: Hadi Khatib

Saudi Banks executed the largest bond purchase in the history of the Kingdom's banking system, daily Al Iqtisadiah reported.

In March, a $5.86bn (SAR22bn) bond issue was completed - raising its portfolio of government issues from $26.29 (SAR98.6) in February to $32.16 (SAR120.6) in March - a 22% increase.

The current government bond portfolio held by local Saudi banks is the highest since the $33.9bn (SAR127.4bn) recorded in December 2007.

There was a total of (SAR34.5bn) bond issues in the first three months of 2016 - more than the $8.79bn (SAR33bn) purchased in 2015 overall.


Quarter on quarter, the $9.19bn (SAR34.5bn) purchased this year is 2118% higher than the $413.3m (SAR1.55bn) in 2015.

Last year was the first time since 2007 that the Saudi government returned to borrowing from local banks, following a 50% drop in oil prices.

Market observers believe that the government intends on borrowing anywhere from $3.99bn (SAR15bn) to $5.33bn (SAR20bn) on a monthly basis until the end of 2016 to cover for the $100bn budget deficit. 





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