Saudi Arabia offers first global bonds in economic overhaul

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) " Saudi Arabia says it has offered its first global bonds as part of an economic push to diversify its economy.

The Saudi Finance Ministry said early Thursday it offered $5.17 billion in bonds as part of its first offering. It said the total subscription requests for the bonds reached $67 billion.

In total, the bond sale is expected to be worth $17.5 billion, a massive amount compared to other recent international offerings for traders.

The bond sale comes as part of a wider effort to diversify the economy of the Sunni-ruled kingdom as oil prices have been halved since reaching over $100 a barrel in mid-2014.

Saudi Arabia has cut salaries and benefits to government employees, slowed construction projects and is looking at offering shares in its state-owned oil company.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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