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Saudi Aramco seen raising $3 bln-4 bln with dollar sukuk - sources

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco is likely to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion on Wednesday, two sources said, as it returns to the international debt markets with its first U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk sale.

By Scott Murdoch and Yousef Saba

DUBAI, June 9 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco 2222.SE is likely to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion on Wednesday, two sources said, as it returns to the international debt markets with its first U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk sale.

The debt issuance, which will at least partly fund a large dividend that mostly goes to the government, will comprise tranches of three, five and 10 years, the term sheet for the sukuk seen by Reuters showed.

Initial price guidance was around 105 basis points (bps) over U.S. Treasuries (UST) for the three-year portion, around 125 bps over UST for the five-year paper and around 160 bps over UST for the 10-year bonds.

Aramco last year maintained a promised $75 billion dividend to shareholders - chiefly the government - despite lower oil prices, and is expected to shoulder significant domestic investments in Saudi Arabia's plans to transform the economy.

The company chose to issue Islamic bonds over conventional ones due to high demand for the instrument as a result of the low number of dollar sukuk sales in the Gulf this year, a source told Reuters on Monday.

Aramco has been widely expected to become a regular bond issuer after its debut $12 billion issuance in 2019 was followed by an $8 billion, five-part transaction in November last year, also used to fund its dividend.

A source had told Reuters that Aramco was expected to raise up to $5 billion with the deal, which is expected to close later on Wednesday and has 29 active and passive bookrunners working on it.

Active bookrunners on the deal include HSBC HSBA.L, JPMorgan JPM.N, NCB Capital 1180.SE and Standard Chartered Bank STAN.L. Passive bookrunners include BOC International 601696.SS and Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong and Yousef Saba; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Jan Harvey)

((Yousef.Saba@thomsonreuters.com; +971562166204; https://twitter.com/YousefSaba))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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