Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 6 Jun 2016 01:38 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Banks meet Saudi officials in bid to win sovereign bond mandate

Market commentators speculate Saudi Arabia could issue $15-20bn through the fundraising exercise

Banks meet Saudi officials in bid to win sovereign bond mandate
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

A number of international banks are pitching their businesses to Saudi Arabian officials as they vie to win the sovereign's debut international bond mandate, according to sources.

The meetings are the latest step in the hiring process. Last month the Kingdom sent banks a request for proposals for a potential US dollar bond.

The sovereign is expected to issue in the international capital markets sometime this year to fund a burgeoning fiscal deficit. Market commentators speculate Saudi Arabia could issue $15bn-$20bn through the fundraising exercise.

Saudi Arabia is rated A1 by Moody's, A- by Standard & Poor's and AA- by Fitch. All three agencies have cut the sovereign's ratings in recent months, with S&P downgrading it by three notches since October.

The downgrades are a direct reaction to lower oil prices, with nominal GDP in the country dropping by 13.3% in 2015, according to Moody's.

For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.