Saudi Arabia’s PIF Eyes Billions in Debt Raise after Aramco Success – Report

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is planning to tap the debt market for billions of dollars, according to a Wall Street Journal report, which cited comments from the country’s finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

The PIF has “begun preliminary talks with banks on a possible bridge loan of as much as $8 billion,” the WSJ reports, citing people familiar with the discussions. Al-Jadaan didn’t say when an issue is expected, adding it might not happen and that all funding options remained a possibility.

“They are considering something this year. They are looking at their balance sheet and asking what is the right structure, how much they can leverage,” Al-Jadaan, who is a PIF board member, is quoted as saying in the report. But he added, “this is not a hedge fund.”

The potential debt issuance by the Public Investment Fund comes after Saudi Aramco’s wildly successful first bond issue last month that amounted to a “record breaking vote of market confidence” in the energy giant. Orders for Saudi Aramco’s debut international bond reportedly topped $100 billion.