Saudi Arabia offers first global bonds in economic overhaul
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia says it has offered its first global bonds as part of an economic push to diversify its economy.
The Saudi Finance Ministry said early Thursday it offered $5.17 billion in bonds as part of its first offering. It said the total subscription requests for the bonds reached $67 billion.
In total, the bond sale is expected to be worth $17.5 billion, a massive amount compared to other recent international offerings for traders.
The bond sale comes as part of a wider effort to diversify the economy of the Sunni-ruled kingdom as oil prices have been halved since reaching over $100 a barrel in mid-2014.
Saudi Arabia has cut salaries and benefits to government employees, slowed construction projects and is looking at offering shares in its state-owned oil company.