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Thu 26 May 2016 01:42 PM

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Qatar launches $9bn bond sale to help plug budget deficit

World's top liquefied natural gas exporter is the latest in a flurry of offerings from the Gulf region

Qatar launches $9bn bond sale to help plug budget deficit

Qatar has launched the Middle East's biggest-ever bond sale after selling $9 billion of Eurobonds in three maturities.

The world's top liquefied natural gas exporter is one of the richest countries per capita but it faces a 46.5 billion riyal ($12.8 billion) budget deficit this year because of the continued lower oil and gas prices.

Like other Gulf states, it is turning to international markets to bridge the gap but analysts had predicted that Qatar's bond would only be valued at $5 billion. Qatar is also in the second year of a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade ahead of hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup.

The issue helped push 2016 offerings from the Middle East and North Africa to $29.3 billion, already a record for the first half of a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This is the first sale in four years from Qatar and is the latest in a flurry of offerings from the Gulf region.

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi announced that it had issued benchmark dual-tranche 5 and 10 years bonds worth $5 billion as it seeks to gap an expected budget deficit of $10.1 billion in 2016 because of low oil prices.

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