Last week Saudi Arabia announced that it is to launch its first Euro-denominated bonds shortly, following the recent bond issue from Saudi Aramco. At around the same time, the effective Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), stated that the long-delayed initial public offering (IPO) of 5% of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas behemoth, Aramco, may occur as early as next year. Given how relatively successful the Aramco bond was and how perennially unpopular the Aramco IPO idea has been, the natural question is why MbS does not just authorise a bigger bond issue from Aramco rather than push ahead with an IPO concept that has caused nothing but awkward questions since it was originally mooted in 2016. Certainly, on the face of it, the headline figures for the inaugural bond issue from Saudi Aramco were impressive. Orders for the bond offering – over five different maturities (2022, […]