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Actionable news in CHK: CHESAPEAKE ENERGY Corp,

Saudi Arabia takes out $10bn in bank loans

Saudi Arabia is raising $10bn from a consortium of global banks as the kingdom embarks on its first international debt issuance in 25 years to counter dwindling oil revenues and reserves.

The landmark five-year loan, a signal of Riyadh's newfound dependence on foreign capital, opens the way for Saudi to launch its first international bond issue. It comes as the sustained slump in crude encourages other Gulf governments, such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman, to tap international bond markets.

The oil-rich kingdom, which last weekend blocked a potential deal among oil producers to freeze output and bolster prices, has burnt through $150bn in financial reserves since late 2014 as its fiscal deficit is set to widen to 19 per cent of gross domestic product this year.

Strong interest in the loan, especially from Asian banks, came despite rating agency downgrades on Saudi creditworthiness since the oil price collapsed. The government raised the amount it wanted to borrow from $6bn-$8bn to $10bn after the deal was oversubscribed.

"The deal is very successful, with very competitive pricing," said Elyas Algaseer, deputy regional general manager at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. "There was immense market appetite."

Saudi Arabia may now raise its first global bond in the wake of the loan deal, bankers said. Institutions that loaned the most...


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