Saudis add Khashoggi case to Ir­ish bond pa­pers

Coun­try’s sale of $7.5 bil­lion of notes its first bond sale since death of jour­nal­ist Is­sue al­most four times over­sub­scribed, with or­der book peak­ing at $27.5bn

The Irish Times - - Business News - JOE BREN­NAN

Saudi Ara­bia has felt com­pelled to add a ref­er­ence to the killing of dis­si­dent cit­i­zen Ja­mal Khashoggi in bond doc­u­ments filed with the Ir­ish Stock Ex­change to sup­port the coun­try’s sale of $7.5 bil­lion (¤6.5 bil­lion) of notes to in­ter­na­tional in­vestors last week.

While there had been spec­u­la­tion that the king­dom would get a cold re­cep­tion as it car­ried out its first sale of bonds since the death of the Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist last Oc­to­ber, the is­sue was al­most four times over­sub­scribed, with the or­der book peak­ing at $27.5 bil­lion (¤23.9 bil­lion), ac­cord­ing to the Saudi min­istry of fi­nance.

The sale of the bonds was han­dled for the Saudis by BNP Paribas, JP Mor­gan, HSBC, Cit­i­group and NCB Cap­i­tal.

Sup­ple­men­tary ma­te­rial in­serted on Jan­uary 9th into the base prospec­tus for the Ir­ish-listed Saudi bonds, ap­proved by the Cen­tral Bank of Ire­land, high­lighted a ref­er­ence to the Khashoggi case in a sec­tion on the coun­try’s le­gal and ju­di­cial sys­tem. Is­suers of se­cu­ri­ties are re­quired to in­clude mat­ters that are po­ten­tially of in­ter­est to in­vestors in prospec­tuses.

“On 15 Novem­ber 2018, the Saudi Ara­bian Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion an­nounced the re­sults of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion it car­ried out with re­spect to a num­ber of sus­pects in the case of Saudi cit­i­zen Ja­mal Khashoggi, who died on 2 Oc­to­ber in the Saudi Ara­bian con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, Tur­key,” the up­date said.

“The Pub­lic Prose­cu­tor an­nounced that some of the sus­pects had been in­dicted and their cases have been re­ferred to the lo­cal court sys­tem. The ini­tial hear­ing in the case was held on 3 Jan­uary 2019 in the crim­i­nal court of Riyadh, with the in­dicted in­di­vid­u­als as de­fen­dants.”

While Riyadh de­nies that Saudi crown prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man was in­volved in the mur­der, the CIA in the US con­cluded in Novem­ber that the king-in-wait­ing or­dered the killing. The US se­nate ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion last month to hold the prince re­spon­si­ble for the death.

Pros­e­cu­tors

Saudi state news agency SPA re­ported on Jan­uary 3rd that pros­e­cu­tors are seek­ing the death penalty for five of the 11 sus­pects de­tained over Mr Khashoggi’s mur­der, as the court in Riyadh held its first hear­ing on the case.

Saudi Ara­bia car­ried out its first ever bond sale in Oc­to­ber 2016, se­lect­ing the Ir­ish Stock Ex­change to list the notes and the Cen­tral Bank of Ire­land to vet the rel­e­vant prospec­tus. Sub­se­quent bond sales by the coun­try have also been listed on the Dublin ex­change, a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional venue for debt and fund list­ings.

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