The ratings agency Fitch has confirmed Saudi’s credit rating at AA-, with a negative outlook.
The agency identified a number of risks including a weakening balance sheet and possible spillover from regional conflicts.
According to Fitch the kingdom’s balance sheet “has continued to weaken as a result of lower international oil prices”.
The Saudi government has drawn up a series of savings as part of its “National Transformation Program”, which includes a reduction of subsidies for water and electric, as well as public sector salaries amounting to about $60 bln.
Saudi is currently managing debt which it is selling as a bond - a transaction, which will help the kingdom partly meet the shortfall in its state budget brought on by the slump in oil prices, is expected to be one of the largest ever debt sales by an emerging markets nation, with commentators forecasting a trade worth upwards of $10 billion.
The world’s largest oil exporter will sell a dollar-denominated bond with tranches maturing after five, ten and 30 years following the roadshow program, subject to market conditions.
Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan have been selected as global coordinators, and seven more banks have been made joint book-runners for the trade which is structured to be sold to investors including those in the United States, an announcement said.