Western banks help Saudis raise $12 billion in bonds

Saud Arabia's oil company Aramco - the most profitable company in the world - has raised $12 billion in a bond issue that shows Western investors are keen to do business with the kingdom despite the scandal over the killing of a dissident journalist last year.

Bonds from Saudi Aramco began trading in London on Wednesday after strong interest from investors, with bids reportedly reaching as much as $100 billion. The Saudis had initially wanted to raise $10 billion but issued $12 billion in the end, according to financial information provider FactSet.

Saudi Arabia faced international condemnation after the assassination in October of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But the bond sale, which was run by JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and others, shows continued interest from Western companies.