Saudi, Qatar Bond Issues Get Cozy; Both Oversubscribed

Saudi Arabia beat out regional rival Qatar’s first bond issuance since the Gulf crisis began with its own “surprise” $11 billion raise, which drew $52 billion of orders this week, according to reports.

Saudi Arabia denies that the timing of the quick-fire raise was not aimed at damaging Qatar’s issuance. The Saudi debt management office told the London-based Financial Times that “geopolitics did not play a role in the decision to bring its deal to market ahead of Qatar’s,” but said the “supply pipeline” was a factor.

According to Bloomberg, Qatar’s deal, which is expected to be completed today, “has received bids in excess of $32.5 billion, including interest from joint lead managers, as of 3:45 p.m. in Dubai.”

The Saudi deal is Riyadh’s fourth international public bond sale. Saudi Arabia has established itself as “one of the top global debt issuers after it began selling international sovereign bonds in 2016 with a $17.5 billion debut sale, the largest bond ever issued across emerging markets,” Reuters writes.

The ongoing Qatar dispute reportedly drew the ire of President Trump on a phone call last week with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, according to a separate Reuters report. Trump “demanded that the kingdom and its Arab partners quickly end a nearly year-old dispute with Qatar that has left U.S. allies in the region fractured,” Reuters reports, citing two U.S. officials briefed on the conversation.