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Saudi Aramco to launch $2 billion sukuk bond

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company, will soon launch its first Islamic public bond sale worth around $2 billion, the Financial Times has reported.23 Mar 2017

The company will launch the sale of the Islamic bonds, or sukuk, once it receives approval from Saudi Arabia's capital markets authority, sources have told the Financial Times.

The bond sale would be the first step in a broader debt programme for Saudi Aramco, the Financial Times reported.

Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has previously announced plans to sell 5% of Aramco as part of an economic reform plan. Ownership of the rest of Aramco would be transferred to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, making it the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. 

Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said last year that the company will continue to invest despite low oil prices to prevent a longer term shortfall in supply.

The oil and gas industry is likely to see up to $1 trillion in development plans delayed or cancelled over the next decade, and this is likely to tighten the supply-demand balance, Nasser told the World Energy Congress.

"At Saudi Aramco, our response has always been to take a long term and flexible approach. We have continued to invest prudently in our core oil and gas projects, and in the downstream and chemicals. Where we have deferred and stretched projects, these have mostly been in discretionary and support investments," he said.