June 26, 2019

No plans for new dollar bond issue this year, says CBB official

Bahrain does not plan to issue new US dollar-denominated bonds this year, says Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) official.

Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Executive Director of Banking operations at CBB, said that Bahrain does not have any funding requirements for this year and does not have plans to tap the international debt markets.

An aid agreement signed last week with Gulf allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait for a $10 billion package tied to fiscal reforms has averted the risk of a credit crunch.

The Kingdoms debt stock is expected to fall over the coming years and the $10 billion aid from Bahrains Gulf neighbours will be used to reduce its borrowing needs, previously estimated at $20 billion over five years.

The financial aid agreement with its Gulf neighbours is tied to a comprehensive plan of economic reforms, called the fiscal balance programme, aimed at fixing Bahrains finances and eliminating its budget deficit by 2022.

Bahrain is one of the financially weakest states in the Gulf, with a public debt estimated at 85.5 per cent of gross domestic product in 2018 and has increasingly relied on external funding to meet its financial requirements, reported Reuters.

Original Article

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