Decade of Gulf Bond-Market Growth Fading as Borrowers Hold Back

Unless Gulf bond sales pick up in the fourth quarter, the market will shrink this year for the first time in a decade. The prospects aren’t looking good. Issuance from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council dropped 31 per cent to $20.4 billion this year through 30 September, while $23.5 billion of securities are due to mature in 2015. Redemptions haven’t exceeded sales since at least 2005. A contraction would cap a year in which GCC debt investors have been starved of options as borrowers turned to loans and markets whipsawed amid China’s faltering economic performance and speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.