At one time Saudi Arabia (and Russia) threatened to "de-link" Mideast petro dollars (i.e., riyals and rubles) and US dollars. Now, Saudi Arabia is in such dire straits, the kingdom has announced it will issue US-dollar-denominated bonds to make ends meet. From The WSJ, a story easily found everywhere:
Saudi Aramco said Monday it aims to issue a U.S. dollar-denominated bond, as the cash-strapped oil giant cuts jobs, considers asset sales and reviews its expansion plans.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., as the company is officially called, is selling debt even as low oil prices hurt its ability to generate cash for its biggest shareholder, the Saudi government. It is seeking to meet a pledge made last year to pay $75 billion in annual dividends.
Aramco in a statement said it hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Inc., Citi, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, among others, to arrange investor calls on Monday ahead of a debt sale. The oil company, which didn’t disclose pricing or how much it will raise, said it plans a multi-tranche bond offering with potential maturities of three, five, 10, 30 and 50 years. The bond issue is likely to raise billions of dollars, and the pricing and size would depend on market conditions, Aramco added.
Saudi is one of the most strict countries when it comes to following the Koran.
From the internets:
To charge interest from someone who is forced to borrow to meet his essential consumption requirement is considered as an exploitative practice in Islam.
Charging of interest on loans for productive purposes is also prohibited because it is not an equitable form of transaction.