Gulf sovereigns tapped the debt market on an unprecedented scale over the past couple of years as banking liquidity tightened and the hunt for yield pushed investors into new territory, setting the stage for more non-financial corporate bond issuance and a huge funding culture shift among the region’s enterprises. But there may be reason to believe what began to be seen as a funding revolution in the region could be stopped in its tracks.
US and EU monetary policy normalisation, the price of oil, and the pace of economic transformation are top of mind for many following the GCC, but the key risks – and opportunities – present in the region are both deeper and wider than is often appreciated.
In advance of our Project, ECA and Structured Finance Middle East & Africa 2018 conference and forthcoming special report on the subject, Bonds & Loans visited the region to meet with a broad range of finance leaders in order to gain a sense of the risks and opportunities on the horizon.
In 2011 winds of change swept through MENA, and what followed was a tumultuous period for many African economies in particular. Seven years on, some, like Libya, are still struggling to recover from the turmoil, but others, like Tunisia or Morocco, are revitalized and in many ways emboldened. Indeed, many of their markets have much to show for it.
Brown Brothers Harriman: produced the following ratings model to assess relative sovereign risk in Frontier Markets. A country’s score directly reflects its creditworthiness and underlying ability to service its external debt obligations.
Almost 20 years ago, global fixed income investors scarcely heard of the word ‘sukuk’, let alone understood the asset’s unique structural features or benefits. Much has changed since, with the global sukuk issuance topping USD74.8bn at the end of 2016. But with the asset class’ impressive growth being hamstrung by liquidity shortages and a lack of global standards, the development and proliferation of those standards – and a protracted effort on behalf of market makers to harmonise those standards – is needed to help take the market to the next level.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) hugely successful debut capital markets transaction, a USD 3bn dual-tranche bond, achieved a number of milestones – it was the largest single-currency corporate issuance in the GCC, one of the largest in the Middle East’s corporate history – and marked the start of a bold new financing strategy at the state-owned oil company.
Sukuk – sharia-compliant bonds – may have risen to prominence in majority-Muslim countries over the past two decades, but their appeal has clearly gained momentum among a diverse group of stakeholders – and for good reason. These instruments offer borrowers ethical, price-competitive ways of diversifying their investments and raising new capital - just some of the reasons why global sukuk issuance has spiked in recent years.
The first two stages of the Egyptian government’s solar and wind programme have been somewhat hit-and-miss, but increased development bank involvement sets the next stage on a path to encourage wider private sector participation. Third time’s a charm – but only if local and commercial lenders play their part, analysts suggest.
- Are the World’s Top State-Owned Airlines in for Hard Landing?
- Tenor, Size, Format and Structuring: The Key to a Successful Debut Sukuk
- Middle East CFOs Eye New Credit Funding Opportunities
- CASE STUDY: KNPC Seals USD6.245bn Loan in Largest ECA-Backed Corporate Transaction Ever
- Middle East Credit Markets Brief: 09 November – 22 November
11 Apr 2018