Wednesday 12, September 2018 by Bloomberg

Saudi wealth fund said to prepare to sign $11 billion loan


Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund will sign an $11 billion loan this week, marking its first-ever borrowing, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some of the biggest global lenders including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are providing the loan that’s priced at 75 basis points over Libor, or just shy of 90 basis points including fees, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. London-based boutique Verus Partners is advising the Public Investment Fund on the talks, the people said.

The PIF started approaching banks in July, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The fund planned to establish a group of banks with which it will work on future deals, they said. Spokesmen for the PIF and Verus Partners declined to comment.

Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., Standard Chartered Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA, Mizuho Bank Ltd., MUFG, Credit Agricole SA, SMBC, Bank of America, Bank of China Ltd. and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. also participated in the loan, the people said.

The PIF is willing to borrow to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy and boost returns from investments, Managing Director Yasir Al-Rumayyan said in an interview last year. The fund is also in talks to sell its stake in chemical producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to Aramco, which could raise as much as $70 billion.

The PIF plans to become the world’s biggest sovereign fund, controlling more than $2 trillion by 2030. It’s a central part of the government’s effort to diversify the economy away from oil, under a plan known as Vision 2030. Plans for an initial public offering of oil giant Saudi Aramco, which could have raised as much as $100 billion for the PIF, are currently on hold.

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