Amid expectations that The Kingdom will sell bonds as early as next month, investors are panic-buying protection against default on Saudi Arabia. The last few weeks have seen a surge in CDS notional outstanding to its highest on record even as Saudi risk has stabilized after quadrupling in the last year.
Saudi CDS notionals are soaring as potential buyers of Saudi's future debt issuance load up on protection to 'free' up balance sheet room to cover the issue.
Rather notably, bets of Riyal devaluation in the FX forward market have slid notably recently... at exactly the time as investors are loading up on credit protection... a proxy for devaluation fears...
It would appear every effort is being made to put some lipstick on this pig before the debt issuance (and don't forget that it was a Saudi statement that spraked the biggest short-squeeze in history in crude), but under the covers, the big boys are scrambling for hedges.