Oman has raised $2.5bn from its first international bond issue since 1997, joining its GCC peers Qatar and Abu Dhabi, with bond issues of $9bn in May, and of $2.5bn in April respectively (MEES, 3 June).

GCC countries have raised record ammounts of international finance so far this year (see table). But issues to date are set to be dwarfed by Saudi Arabia which is reported to be preparing to launch a $15bn debut international bond by July. The Oman bond will help fund its gaping budget deficit in 2016 which is projected to hit OR3.3bn ($8.6bn) as a result of the plunge in oil prices. (CONTINUED - 522 WORDS)