Saudi finance minister says likely to tap foreign, local bond markets again

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The Saudi Arabian government is likely to tap the international and domestic bond markets again this year, depending on demand for its debt and the pricing it can obtain, finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said on Tuesday.

He told an investment conference that the state budget deficit would be funded with three streams - international debt, local debt and drawing down the government’s financial reserves - and that using the reserves would be the last resort.

Saudi Arabia issued a debut, $17.5 billion sovereign international bond last year and made a $9 billion sukuk issue last month. It halted monthly domestic bond issues late last year to ease pressure on liquidity in the banking system.

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