Saudi bond sale: Top banks among lead managers

Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are among banks hired to act as co-lead managers for the international bond sales, according to reports.
Updated 15 July 2016
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Saudi bond sale: Top banks among lead managers

LONDON: Saudi Arabia appointed six banks as co-lead managers on its first international bond sale, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Kingdom hired Bank of China Ltd., BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to arrange the sale, the people said.
The banks will hold a meeting later this month to start working on the deal, two of the people said.
The managers will work with HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., who were said to have been appointed global coordinators last month for the sale of at least $10 billion of bonds.
Saudi Arabia plans to boost debt as it looks to plug an estimated shortfall of about $100 billion in its budget this year and fund an economic transformation plan.
Government debt levels will increase to 30 percent of economic output by 2020 from 7.7 percent, according to the government.
The plunge in crude is driving bond sales across the six-nation Gulf block as governments seek to fill fiscal gaps the International Monetary Fund says could reach $900 billion by 2021.
Kuwait, which plans to raise as much as $9.9 billion from a bond issue in September, is willing to liaise with Saudi Arabia on the timing of the sale, Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh said in a phone interview Monday.
Qatar raised a record $9 billion in May and Abu Dhabi sold bonds worth $5 billion in April.
Spokesmen for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas also declined to comment.
MUFG didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
A call to the London offices of Bank of China wasn’t immediately answered, while Saudi Ministry of Finance couldn’t be reached for comment outside of office hours.


China’s Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries

Updated 26 April 2019
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China’s Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries

  • Xi says Beijing wants “open, green and clean cooperation” with “zero tolerance for corruption”
  • High costs have prompted complaints some are falling into a “debt trap”
BEIJING: President Xi Jinping has promised to set high standards for China’s Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative, seeking to dispel complaints the many billion dollars in projects leave developing countries with too much debt.
Xi avoided mentioning debt complaints in a speech opening a forum attended by leaders from some three dozen countries to celebrate his signature foreign initiative. But he said Beijing wants “open, green and clean cooperation” with “zero tolerance for corruption.”
Developing countries welcome the initiative to expand trade by building roads, ports and other facilities across Asia and Africa to Europe. But high costs have prompted complaints some are falling into a “debt trap.”
The United States, Russia, Japan and India also worry Beijing is trying to build a trade and political network centered on China and expand its strategic influence at their expense.
Xi’s government is trying to revive the initiative’s momentum after the number of new projects plunged last year. That came after Chinese officials said state-owned banks would step up scrutiny of borrowers and some governments complained projects do too little for their economies and might give Beijing too much political sway.
Countries including Malaysia and Thailand have canceled or scaled back projects while Ethiopia and others have renegotiated debt repayment.
Xi noted China’s finance ministry on Thursday issued guidelines for assessing debt risks for borrowers. The ministry said those “debt sustainability guidelines” are based on the standards of the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions.
The president tried to allay complaints about lack of economic benefits and political influence, saying Belt and Road is “not an exclusive club” and promotes “common development and prosperity.”
“We need to pursue open, green and clean cooperation,” Xi said. “Everything should be done in a transparent way and we should have zero tolerance for corruption.”
His audience at a Beijing conference center included Prime Ministers Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Lee Hsien-Loong of Singapore and Adiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and leaders or envoys from Greece, Serbia and Malaysia.
Xi said Beijing also wants to expand the scope of its initiative by encouraging cooperation among Belt and Road countries on health, water resources, agriculture and science and technology. He promised to fund scholarships for students from Belt and Road countries.