Monday 8 April 2019 9:28 pm

Investors go bananas for Saudi oil debt as offers seen at up to $60bn

The markets cannot get enough of state oil company Saudi Aramco as the world’s most profitable company sells bonds for the first time.

Investors have bid more than $50bn (£38bn) for the bond issue which was expected to fall at around $10bn, according to Reuters sources.

Read more: Saudi Aramco leapfrogs Apple to claim title as world's most profitable firm

Demand may even have reached as much as $60bn, one source told the news agency, which would make it the highest book value since Qatar broke records last year.

Saudi Aramco is marketing the debt in six tranches, maturing in between three and 30 years’ time.

The Saudi oil explorer is the largest in the world, and had until last week kept its finances strictly under lock and key.

But the bond sale forced it to open up to the world, showing for the first time that its $111.1bn net income outstrips those of Apple, Exxon Mobil and Google combined.

Read more: Saudi Aramco signs $70bn deal to buy majority stake in Sabic

Speaking earlier today, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih confirmed the issue had reached over $30bn in demand.

Global Data analyst Anna Belova said: “As the world’s most profitable company, it can be argued that Aramco does not need to resort to debt offering and that the bond serves a secondary purpose to inspire confidence and offer new transparency into Aramco’s finances, as the company fires up its global expansion strategy.”

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