Saudi issues new Islamic bond to finance budget

Saudi Arabia said it has completed the issuance of a new Islamic sukuk sale to help finance its budget deficit as the Kingdom accelerates borrowing despite rising oil prices. (AFP)
Updated 25 April 2018
0

Saudi issues new Islamic bond to finance budget

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it has completed the issuance of a new sukuk sale to help finance its budget deficit as the Kingdom accelerates borrowing despite rising oil prices.
The finance ministry’s debt management office said it raised $1.3 billion from the sale of sukuks in three tranches maturing in five, seven and 10 years.
This was the second sukuk sale this year following a $4.8-billion issue it completed last month.
Last week, the Kingdom also raised $11 billion in the sale of conventional bonds. In early March, it struck a deal to refinance a $10-billion loan and added another $6 billion to it.
The OPEC exporter has posted huge budget deficits since oil prices crashed about four years ago and resorted to the debt market to finance the shortfall.
It posted budget deficits totalling $260 billion since 2014 and is projecting a shortfall of $52 billion for this year, according to official figures.
The government debt level, both domestic and international, rose from 1.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2014 to 17.3 of GDP last year reaching $118 billion.
During the same period, the government has drawn down some $245 billion from its fiscal reserves.
Oil income made up more than 90 percent of public revenues before oil began to slide.


German industry groups warn US on tariffs before Trump-Juncker meeting

Updated 22 July 2018
0

German industry groups warn US on tariffs before Trump-Juncker meeting

  • Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1
  • Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts

BERLIN: German industry groups warned on Sunday, before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets US President Donald Trump this week, that tariffs the United States has imposed or is threatening to introduce risk harming America itself.
Citing national security grounds, Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1 and Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts. Juncker will discuss trade with Trump at a meeting on Wednesday.
“The tariffs under the guise of national security should be abolished,” Dieter Kempf, head of Germany’s BDI industry association said. Juncker should tell Trump that the United States would harm itself with tariffs on cars and car parts, he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
The German auto industry employed more than 118,000 people in the United States and 60 percent of what they produced was exported. “Europe should not let itself be blackmailed and should put in a confident appearance in the United States,” he added.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday he hoped it was still possible to find a solution that was attractive to both sides. “For us, that means we stand by open markets and low tariffs,” he said
He said the possibility of US tariffs on EU cars was very serious and stressed that reductions in international tariffs in the last 40 years and the opening of markets had resulted in major benefits for citizens.
EU officials have tried to lower expectations about what Juncker can achieve, and played down suggestions that he will arrive in Washington with a novel plan to restore good relations.
Altmaier said it was difficult to estimate the impact of any US car tariffs on the German economy, but added: “Tariffs on aluminum and steel had a volume of just over six billion euros. In this case we would be talking about almost ten times that.”
He said he hoped job losses could be avoided but noted that trade between Europe and the United States made up around one third of total global trade.
“You can imagine that if we go down with a cold in the German-American or European-American relationship, many others around us will get pneumonia so it’s highly risky and that’s why we need to end this conflict as quickly as possible.”
Eric Schweitzer, president of the DIHK Chambers of Commerce, told Welt am Sonntag the German economy had for decades counted on open markets and a reliable global trading system but added: “Every day German companies feel the transatlantic rift getting wider.”