Saudi Aramco to launch $2bn bond sale ahead of IPO

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Saudi Aramco is set to launch a debut sukuk bond sale of around $2bn as early as next week, tapping local debt markets as part of a $10bn fund-raising programme.

People briefed on the company’s plans say it is expected to receive approval from Saudi Arabia’s capital markets authority this week, allowing the world’s largest oil producing company to launch a sukuk this month.

Saudi Aramco is planning a 7.5bn riyal ($2bn) Shariah-compliant bond as the first tranche of a broader 37.5bn riyal programme, the people said.

Tapping debt markets comes as the state owned energy giant looks to raise finance ahead of its much-anticipated initial public offering planned for 2018.

Most of the sukuk facility is expected to be privately placed among the lead arrangers on the deal, which includes HSBC Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank, Riyad Banb and Alinma Bank, the people said.

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