Saudi Arabia tests appetite for potential Euro bond sale

The Saudi Arabian government has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Societe Generale SA to meet potential investors in a non-deal roadshow from Monday(AP pic)

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia may sell euro-denominated bonds for the first time after testing investor appetite for a possible deal, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The government hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Societe Generale SA to meet potential investors in a non-deal roadshow from Monday, the people said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorised to speak publicly about it.

The kingdom hasn’t decided whether it will proceed with a bond sale after the roadshow, the people said.

Government officials, Societe Generale and Goldman Sachs didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Saudi Arabia has been tapping the global bond market to help finance its budget deficit after a drop in oil prices, the government’s main source of income.

The country last sold bonds internationally in January when it raised US$7.5 billion.

The kingdom’s energy giant Aramco raised US$12 billion in April to buy a majority stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp from the sovereign wealth fund.

Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said in December the nation intends to sell about 120 billion riyals (US$32 billion) of local- and foreign-currency debt this year to help fund the deficit, which is expected at about 131 billion riyals, or 4.2% of gross domestic product in 2019.