Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Tale of Two Bonds: How Qatar's Sale Compares With Saudi Arabia's

Updated on
  • Saudi Arabia raised $11b after receiving $52b in bids
  • Qatar’s $12b offering is biggest EM sovereign sale this year

The political discord between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which has divided the Arab world since June, spilled into the bond market last week as both chose to sell debt to help fund their budget deficits within 48 hours of each other.

While Qatar held meetings with fixed-income investors between April 9 and 11, Saudi Arabia started and completed a sale on April 10. Both countries had been planning an offering for months.

Read More: Qatar, Saudi Arabia Bond Bonanza Pushes GCC Debt Sales to Record

Below is a comparison of the two offerings and the nations’ finances. Economic data for both countries are from the International Monetary Fund:


Saudi ArabiaQatar
GDP (nominal, 2017) $678.5 billion$166.3 billion
GDP per capita (2018)$21,453$65,159
Forecast GDP growth (2018)1.1%3.1%
DescriptionNo. 1 oil exporterNo. 1 LNG exporter
Credit ranking (S&P)A-, seventh highestAA-, fourth highest
Bond size$11 billion$12 billion
OrderbookAbout $52 billionAbout $53 billion
Tranches7y/12y/31y  $4.5b/$3b/$3.5b5y/10y/30y  $3b/$3b/$6b
Spread over U.S. Treasuries140bp/175bp/210bp135bp/170bp/205bp
Date pricedApril 10April 12
CDS (five year)8987
BookrunnersCiti, GIB Capital, GS, HSBC, MS, Bank of China, ICBC, JPM, MUFGAl Khaliji, Barclays, CA-CIB, CS, DB, QNBCAP, StanChart
Fiscal balance in 2018-7.2% of GDP0.5% of GDP
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