October 23, 2018 / 8:58 AM / a month ago

Saudi Aramco CEO says bankers have not raised concerns about funding costs on SABIC deal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at Aramco headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

RIYADH (Reuters) - The chief executive of oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Tuesday that bankers had not expressed any concerns about a recent rise in Saudi funding costs ahead of the company’s potential acquisition of a stake in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE.

The cost of insuring against a Saudi sovereign default over the next five years touched 100 basis points last week for the first time since June, in a sign of how deeply the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has damaged sentiment toward the kingdom.

Asked whether bankers raised any concerns about the death of Khashoggi and worries over higher funding costs for the deal, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said: “None whatsoever.”

“Aramco is well positioned financially,” Nasser said on the sidelines of an investment conference in Riyadh.

Aramco hired JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to advise on a potential acquisition of a 70 percent stake in Saudi Arabia’s SABIC, sources told Reuters in July.

Separately, Nasser also said it would take Aramco three months to reach maximum oil production capacity of 12 million barrels per day, if needed.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal, writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Susan Fenton

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