Saudi government raises $5bn in 2022 to become the MENA’s biggest debt issuer

Saudi government raises $5bn in 2022 to become the MENA’s biggest debt issuer
Saudi Arabia was ranked second in the region when private and public sectors issuance was totaled (Shutterstock)
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Updated 16 January 2023
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Saudi government raises $5bn in 2022 to become the MENA’s biggest debt issuer

Saudi government raises $5bn in 2022 to become the MENA’s biggest debt issuer

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s government was the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest debt issuer in 2022 as it raised $5 billion, according to a report released by global provider of financial market data and infrastructure Refinitiv.

The Kingdom’s administration was also in the lead when it came to the issuance of Islamic bonds, securing $2.5 billion.

The UAE government came second in the ranking with $3 billion, the report disclosed.

Islamic bonds raised $12.2 billion across the MENA region during 2022, reflecting a seven-year low as well as a 55 percent drop from 2021.

As for sukuks, they accounted for one-third of the total bond proceeds in 2022. 

The Islamic Development Bank Trust Service has raised as much as $1.6 billion during the year, making it the largest issuer of sukuk from the financial sector in 2022.

Overall, MENA debt issuance has hit $37.3 billion in 2022, reflecting the lowest full year total since 2011.

In addition to this, the figure also reflects a 65 percent drop in value when compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

The UAE was the biggest debt issuer in 2022 when the private and public sectors combined, accounting for 42 percent of the total, while the Kingdom ranked second with 40 percent.

Qatar followed with 10 percent of total bond proceeds and then Bahrain with 3 percent.

While financial issuers accounted for as much as 67 percent of total proceeds during the year, government and agency issuers made up 25 percent.

From the financial sector, the Kingdom’s GACI First Investment Co posed the largest issuer having raised $2.87 billion.

Earlier in January, the Kingdom’s National Debt Management Center confirmed it had received more than $38 billion in bids for its dollar-denominated bonds issuance, as it announced the completion of receiving investor requests for this year’s first international issuance. 

The issuances were made under the Kingdom’s Global Medium-Trust Note Issuance Program, NDMC said in a statement.

The NDMC mission is to secure the Kingdom’s financing needs at the best possible costs in the short, medium, and long term and to achieve Saudi Arabia’s sustainable access to various global markets at fair prices.