Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 11 Oct 2016 09:23 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi stock exchange to trade government debt

Since late 2015, the government has offered about $5.3bn of domestic bonds to local banks every month

Saudi stock exchange to trade government debt
(Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia, which is financing part of a budget deficit caused by low oil prices with government bonds, will trade the bonds on its stock exchange, the finance ministry has said.

The move may make it easier for the government to issue debt by allowing more types of investor to buy bonds. Since late 2015, the government has offered about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) of domestic bonds to local banks every month, but the banks have found it increasingly hard to buy all the bonds as cheap oil has tightened liquidity.

Government bonds will be registered, listed and traded on the exchange's platform gradually, the finance ministry said without giving details.

Saudi Arabia has set plans to begin meeting with foreign investors this week before making its first international bond issue. It may sell around $10 billion or more of those bonds in one of the largest debt sales by an emerging market economy.

The ministry's statement did not say whether the US dollar bonds could be listed on the Saudi exchange or whether the government would choose to do this.

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.