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Aramco has insisted on its independence while meeting investors ahead of the bond issue last week, saying the Saudi government remained committed to Aramco’s governance framework to safeguard its independence even when oil prices dropped. But for some investors Riyadh’s control over the oil giant is an issue as its state ownership means decisions will ultimately be for the benefit of the government rather than investors. “Aramco is more transparent, has stronger credit metrics and is on an improving ESG (environmental, social and governance) trajectory whereas the government is more complex,” said Mohieddine Kronfol, chief investment officer of Global Sukuk and MENA Fixed Income at Franklin Templeton Investments.

“The link between the two however is understandably very strong,” he said, Previously reluctant to do so, Aramco cufflinks depot review last week opened for the first time its books to investor scrutiny, showing it is by far the most profitable company in the world, Having made core earnings of $224 billion last year and with $86 billion in free cash flow at the end of 2018, Aramco does not need to borrow, Initial indications of over $30 billion in investor demand prompted Aramco to market the notes with almost no premium to Saudi government debt..

“They are clearly trying to price it (the bond) off existing AA corporates in this world, so people are looking at curves like Shell, Total, Exxon but also technology giants like Apple,” said Buchet. After “tightening” the price guidance, Aramco on Tuesday ended up selling a $1 billion three-year tranche offering investors 55 basis points (bps) over U.S. Treasuries, a $2 billion five-year tranche at 75 bps over the benchmark, a $3 billion 10-year tranche at 105 bps, $3 billion in 20-year notes at 140 bps and $3 billion in 30-year bonds at 155 bps, a document issued by one of the banks leading the deal showed.

Managers said the pricing meant the bonds will yield less than Saudi Arabia, which owns it, This is rare, as state-owned entities generally offer higher returns than their governments, “I think it’s madness that’s it’s going inside the sovereign by a decent margin, Despite the fundamentals of Aramco, it’s ultimately sovereign risk,” said Richard Briggs, emerging markets strategist at London-based CreditSights, But the pricing level balanced the demand from dedicated emerging markets managers cufflinks depot review and cross-over investors, according to Samy Muaddi, emerging markets portfolio manager at T, Rowe Price, who participated in the deal..

“The fact that they’re only taking $12 billion is positive. There was some concern that they could do a larger transaction like $20 billion.”. The issue follows on the heels of Aramco’s planned $69.1 billion acquisition of a 70 percent stake in petrochemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, a deal that many see as a transfer of government funds aimed at boosting the Saudi Crown Prince’s economic agenda. “This bond is being issued for two reasons: to establish Aramco’s status as an independent corporate identity and to enable the transfer of wealth out of the company,” said Marcus Chenevix, analyst, MENA and global political research at TS Lombard.

Aramco, however, said the bond issue was not linked to the SABIC acquisition, which will be paid in tranches cufflinks depot review through internal cash flow and, potentially, other resources, Many see the deal as a relationship building exercise with international investors ahead of its planned initial public offering, scheduled for last year and then postponed to 2021, The debt offering initially included a three-year floating rate bond, which was later dropped, according to the document, The new bonds were trading up before they were officially sold in the so-called grey market, where investors trade them on a when-issued basis, “Strong demand in a world looking for extra yield, a new name, and lots of cash,” said Andrew Brenner, managing director at National Alliance Capital Markets..

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job openings dropped to an 11-month low in February and hiring decreased, which could partially explain a sharp slowdown in job growth during that month. Still, the labor market remains a pillar of support for the economy amid signs that activity was easing because of the fading boost from a $1.5 trillion tax cut package and the effects of interest rate increases over the last few years. The economy is also facing headwinds from slowing global growth and the United States’ trade war with China.

“The February job openings data reinforced that the labor market weakened in February but there isn’t any cause for concern,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Job openings, a measure of labor demand, tumbled by 538,000 to a seasonally adjusted 7.1 million, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and cufflinks depot review Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, report on Tuesday, The drop was the biggest since August 2015, The level was the lowest since March 2018..

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