March 5, 2018 / 11:33 AM / 9 months ago

Saudi will issue sukuk as soon as market conditions allow-DMO chief

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is committed to the sukuk market and will issue Islamic bonds as soon as market conditions allow, Fahad al-Saif, president of Saudi Arabia’s debt management office (DMO) said on Monday.

Speaking at a sukuk conference at the London Stock Exchange al-Saif also said Saudi Arabia had a ratio of 65 percent to 35 percent for local to international issuance, plus or minus 10 percent.

“We want to ensure we don’t oversupply a particular market,” he said. “We want to develop the local market but don’t want to crowd out the banks.”

Saudi Arabia started issuing debt in the international markets in 2016 after its finances were hit by a slump in international oil prices. It has issued $39 billion in bonds, including a $9 billion sukuk.

Domestically, the government has raised a total of over 70 billion riyals ($18.67 billion) through monthly local currency sukuk issues since last July.

The sovereign has recently agreed the refinancing, extension and upsizing of a $10 billion loan it had raised in 2016. The loan has now been increased to $16 billion.

The DMO said in January it had also issued requests for proposals to banks to arrange further dollar debt issuance and financing supported by other countries’ export credit agencies.

A new dollar bond sale could be marketed over the coming weeks, sources told Reuters last month. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals) (Reporting by Claire Milhench, editing by Davide Barbuscia)

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