Wall Street is ‘looking for opportunities’ in Saudi Arabia, the country’s finance minister says

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Riyadh saw its foreign investment figures drop dramatically in 2017, the same year that the country’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered a so-called anti-corruption shakedown, detaining hundreds of Saudi royals and businessmen. Subsequent political disruptions, including the murder of a non-compliant Saudi journalist, have rattled investor confidence — something that does not bode well for the crown prince’s bold Vision 2030 program, a drive to diversify the kingdom’s revenue away from hydrocarbons and create private sector jobs.

But international investors flocked to lend money to Saudi Arabia’s hugely profitable state-owned oil company earlier this month. Demand for Saudi Aramco’s bonds surged above $100 billion, according to a source familiar with the situation, more than 10 times the $10 billion that had been expected.

Saudi Arabia has already seen formidable success in its recent tapping of the bond market: It issued $7.5 billion in sovereign bonds in January which drew an impressive $27 billion in orders. Saudi Arabia has “A1” and “A+” ratings from agencies Moody’s and Fitch, respectively, a sign of reliability and low risk for investors.

Source: CNBC

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