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Bonds Are Helping These Gulf States Delay Reforms

  • Bahrain, Oman tap bond markets to fund their budget deficits
  • Both nations have the weakest finances in the six-member GCC

Photographer: Phil Weymouth/Bloomberg

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Access to a debt market teeming with yield-hungry investors is helping some cash-strapped nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council kick reforms down the road.

Taking advantage of attractive interest rates, Oman raised $6.5 billion in January, its biggest sale on record, to help bridge deficits. And Bahrain, the smallest of the GCC’s six nations, tapped the international bond markets for $3.6 billion in 2017. It may issue this year to help meet funding needs.