Saudi Minister Says Future Borrowing May Include Islamic Bonds

  • Size of possible sukuk sale depends on the need: Assaf
  • First international bond sale was well-received by investors

Ibrahim al-Assaf.

Photographer: Tomoriho Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia may follow its first international debt issuance with an Islamic bond sale, Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said, as the kingdom seeks to diversify borrowing sources.

The size of future borrowing hasn’t been determined, but it “will not be limited to bonds,” Assaf said. “Part of it will be by the way of sukuk,” he said, speaking at a news conference with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Riyadh on Wednesday.

He didn’t specify whether the sukuk sale would be local or global.

Saudi Arabia raised $17.5 billion this month in the biggest-ever foreign bond from an emerging-market nation. The kingdom is seeking to finance a budget deficit that ballooned to about 15 percent of economic output last year.

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