Saudi government approves domestic government bond exchanges

More than $54.5 billion of riyal bonds will be available to trade
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Mon 02 Apr 2018 08:50 AM

Saudi Arabia’s securities regulator has approved the listing of local currency government bonds on the Saudi Stock Exchange, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced on Sunday.

According to the CMA, the move is part of larger efforts to introduce the financial instruments that serve the needs of different investor categories.

In a statement, the CMA said that more than $54.5 billion of riyal bonds would be available to trade, including floating and fixed-rate bonds and Islamic instruments.

No date has been set for the beginning of trading, but local media reports that trading usually begins within weeks of the CMA approving an instrument.

Authorities believe that the exchange-based trading of government debt will allow ownership to extend to insurers, mutual funds and private investors, as well as help the government finance its budget deficit.

The Saudi government began trading currency bonds in monthly auctions in 2015, but suspended them in 2016 after the government began to borrow abroad. It later initiated monthly sukuk issues in mid-2017.

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