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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Building better bonds |

Building better bonds |
"The regional debt markets have been a source of financing which governments and corporations are increasingly turning towards in order to fill their financial shortfalls. According to Bloomberg, there is currently $125 billion foreign issued government debt outstanding from the GCC, with $54.5 billion having been issued so far in 2016. With Saudi Arabia’s largest emerging market debt issuance of $17.5 in October this year, it is clear that there is significant investor appetite for GCC issued debt. Michael Grifferty, the president of the Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association (GBSA), noted that the GCC is starting to firmly establish itself among other emerging markets due to its foreign issuances and the development of its regional bond market.
To develop regional debt markets, the most important short-term goal is establishing government bond yield curves for each country in the GCC. In order to accomplish this, governments must regularly issue short duration and long duration debt, which adds liquidity and enables issuers, as well as investors, to accurately value and price debt. With GCC countries expected to have a 10.4% fiscal deficit in 2016 (according to the World Bank), governments are deeply aware of the need to regularly issue debt.
Over the medium-term, the Gulf needs to develop a local currency debt market and deepen the current dollar denominated debt market. The GCC, similar to other emerging markets, must progressively supplement its foreign borrowing with more local borrowing. In order to develop a liquid local debt market, governments start with short duration debt and progressively issue longer duration debt at a market rate on a regular basis. This helps pave the way for corporations to have a market to issue local debt to. Establishing a local debt market is vital for efficiently allocating investor capital, managing foreign exchange risk and ensuring corporations can borrow efficiently."

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