Strong demand expected for Saudi global bond sale

JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc. have been appointed to arrange the international bond sale, says a Bloomberg report.
Updated 26 June 2016
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Strong demand expected for Saudi global bond sale

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc. to arrange its first international bond sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The banks are acting as global coordinators on the issue, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the decision isn’t public.
More banks could be added later as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners on the deal, they said. Global coordinators have a key role in overseeing the deal while lead arrangers buy debt and sell it to other banks.
The decision on the mandates was made on Saturday night and the Kingdom will probably wait until after the summer before selling the bonds, two of the people said.
The Kingdom is preparing for a sale of at least $10 billion, separate people familiar said earlier this month.
HSBC, JPMorgan, Citi and Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry declined to comment.
Saudi Arabia is poised to join other countries from the GCC tapping foreign markets to plug budget deficits.
The Kingdom is shoring up its finances after crude prices slumped.
It plans to tap international debt markets as early as September, Minister of State Mohammed bin Abdul Malik Al-Sheikh said during a meeting between Bloomberg News and the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April.
“I expect the Saudi Arabia bond deal to be well received, albeit at a price,“  Anita Yadav, head of fixed-income research at Emirates NBD said by phone on Sunday.
“The hunt-for-yield in a world infected with negative rates will probably see good demand for a name like Saudi Arabia that has a strong credit rating and will likely offer attractive returns.”
In April, it sealed a $10 billion loan — its first in at least 15 years — from a group of US, European, Japanese and Chinese banks, people familiar with the matter said at the time.
The bond sale being considered now would probably come in five-, 10- and 30-year bonds once Ramadan ends next month, separate people with knowledge of the matter said earlier in June.
To cover a budget shortfall estimated at about $100 billion this year, Saudi Arabia has been selling local debt and drawing down foreign reserves as well as raising money on international capital markets.
It has also outlined an economic transformation plan that includes increasing government debt to 30 percent of economic output by 2020 from 7.7 percent.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.