Islamic Finance 

Saudi Arabia plans international sukuk sale in 2nd half of 2019 - Maaal

| 05 February, 2019
Saudi Arabia plans international sukuk sale in 2nd half of 2019 - Maaal
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Investors talk with each other as they monitor a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia plans to issue international sukuk, or Islamic bonds, in the second half of this year, the Maaal financial news website reported, citing the head of Saudi Arabia's Debt Management Office, Fahad al-Saif.

The kingdom plans to borrow a total of 118 billion riyals ($31 billion) this year, which will be used to partly cover its projected budget deficit of 131 billion riyals, al-Saif was quoted as saying.

Saudi Arabia has already tapped the international debt markets this year, raising $7.5 billion through conventional bonds.

The government is currently considering launching savings sukuk for the first time in the Saudi market, to help subscribers save for future needs including buying a house or paying tuition fees for their children, he said.

The plan fits in with Vision 2030 targets to raise Saudi household savings to 10 percent of total household income from 6 percent.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Tuqa Khalid Writing by Davide Barbuscia and Marwa Rashad Editing by Peter Graff)

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