March 31, 2019 / 7:18 AM / 6 months ago

Saudi Arabia to raise around $31 bln in debt this year

DUBAI, March 31 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia plans to issue 118 billion riyals ($31.5 billion) in debt this year to help finance the national budget deficit, the country’s Debt Management Office, part of the ministry of finance, said in a statement.

The kingdom - which issued $7.5 billion in international bonds in January - said its foreign funding “would be positioned in a way in which (Saudi Arabia) could secure most of its funding in the first quarter”, to reduce exposure to market risks and to allow Saudi government-related issuers to tap the debt markets.

The statement comes a few days before Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, is expected to issue its first bonds in the international markets. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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