Bond Sales in Gulf Are Having the Best Start to a Year on Record

(Bloomberg) -- Borrowers in the Gulf, where most currencies are pegged to the dollar, are racing to beat an increase in U.S. interest rates.

Issuance from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the two biggest Arab economies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, climbed to $16.8 billion in the first two months of the year, mostly due to sales by Oman and Qatar National Bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most since at least 2007, when Bloomberg began collecting data.

GCC bond sales will probably range between $70 billion and $90 billion this year, potentially exceeding the record $84.9 billion of issuance in 2017, Andy Cairns, the head of corporate finance at First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest bank, forecast in December.

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