In pictures: 5 things to know about ... raising finance in the GCC

Here are five of the biggest debt-raising deals for the year ahead.
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Bond issuance is likely to happen again this year as governments and businesses look to boost liquidity.
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1. Kuwait: Kuwait is weighing plans to sell dollar-denominated bonds, joining other GCC states also said to be considering sales, according to people familiar with the matter. It is believed that the bonds are likely to be in line with – or even higher than – Kuwait’s last issuance of $8bn in March 2017.
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2. Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has been struggling to close its budget deficit since oil prices collapsed; for 2018, the shortfall might exceed $87.5bn. Raising debt via bonds is one way to address the issue and it’s believed that 12 percent of the deficit would be plugged by a $20bn bond sale this spring.
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3. Oman: Earlier in January, Oman’s government issued a $6.5bn bond – its largest ever. Oman issued its first triple-tranche bond last year, raising a total of $5bn in five-, ten- and 30-year notes. The bonds are a sign of increasing investor confidence in the Gulf’s energy exporting countries.
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4. Emirates Airlines: Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international passenger numbers, is negotiating with banks about raising as much as $1bn through an Islamic bond sale that could materialise in the first half of this year. Emirates has been a regular borrower in the aircraft-financing loan market.
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5. Bahrain: In September, Bahrain raised $3bn, about 10 percent of its economic output, in a three-part international bond sale that may help narrow a gap in its finances left by a more than 50 percent drop in oil prices since 2014. The sale includes an $850m Islamic bond, according to reports.