The benchmark-sized international debut sukuk received more than USD5bn worth of orders – a similar level of oversubscription to the recent Saudi Aramco jumbo bond, a tremendous start to the Saudi dairy giant’s new USD2bn Islamic finance programme.
With further bond index inclusion on the horizon and oil prices holding steady, CFOs and Treasurers are optimistic about the GCC region’s credit market prospects. But the accelerated pace at which today’s markets are evolving is reducing long-term visibility and raising questions over the kind of macro and monetary policy environment borrowers and investors are likely to find themselves in going forward, according to fundraising specialists who participated with an exclusive CFO roundtable co-hosted by HSBC and Bonds & Loans in Dubai.
First Abu Dhabi Bank marked MENA’s debut public sukuk issuance in 2019 with its USD1bn senior sukuk. Riding on a wave of investor demand, the bank tapped the market twice, securing the largest single public issuance from a conventional bank sukuk in the region.
A much-oversubscribed sovereign bond issued by the Republic of Egypt earlier this year reinforced a sense of optimism among emerging market investors about one of the region’s most promising economies, but analysts caution that the sustainability of the country’s improving macro, growth and investment outlook fundamentally hinges on deeper empowerment of the private sector and removal of the military from civilian industry.
Despite a positive macro outlook, a blend of rapidly rising regional tensions and an evolving trade dispute between China and the US will weigh more heavily than previously thought on the GCC’s economic prospects in the medium term, argues Dr. Nasser Saidi, Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates and Lebanon’s former Minister of Economy.
Since Saudi Arabia’s debut sovereign sukuk issuance in 2017, the size of global sukuk markets has exploded. But primary market activity has been dominated by sovereign issuance, with corporates continuing to make up only a small share of the pipeline. Whether this trend will continue remains unclear, and raises serious questions about the long-term potential of the asset class.
Strategically positioned between the US and Asia, the GCC relies heavily on governments and markets in both regions for policy support, investment, and commodities demand. As China and the US double down on opposing trade positions in their pursuit of global economic hegemony, the GCC risks getting caught in the crossfire, according to Ayham Kamel, Practice Head for MENA at Eurasia Group.
Whether in terms of trade, commerce, or cultural linkages, Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states have become increasingly diverse in their international ties over the past decade – with those linking the region to Asia emerging as one of the most critical corridors of economic activity. But how can GCC borrowers capitalise on emerging funding opportunities brought about by these deepening relationships?
The global green bond market has over the past five years grown from virtually nothing into a broad sustainability-linked fixed income asset class, paying financial dividends while tackling some of the world’s most pressing climate and sustainability-related challenges. As Middle Eastern governments redouble their efforts to diversify their energy sectors and wider economies, will 2019 be the year ESG more broadly – and green bonds specifically – take the Middle East by storm?
Following Al Dur Power & Water Company’s (Al Dur) debut project financing transaction in 2009, the project company returned to the financial markets last year to refinance its outstanding debt. Navigating difficult macroeconomic conditions, alongside broader EM volatility, Al Dur secured a complex USD1.3bn refinancing package from an assortment of national and international lenders.
- Uncertain Global Outlook Highlights GCC Debt Opportunity
- GCC CFOs Look Towards ECA Market, Eastward, as Tenor Appetites Stretch Out
- Strong Tabreed Sukuk Debut Highlights Importance of Visibility Among EM Investors
- Emphasis on ‘United’: The UAE Becomes Increasingly Federalised
- The Waning Influence of OPEC
15 May 2019