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Qatar returned to the bond markets this week, raising $12bn for the second consecutive year. Having raised $12bn in April 2018 ( MEES, 20 April 2018 ), the emirate has repeated the trick with a three tranche offering set to mature in 2024, 2029 and 2049 respectively. It’s the largest offering from the GCC so far this year, after Saudi Arabia raised $7.5bn in January ( MEES, 11 January ).
Unlike most of its peers, Qatar does not have a budget deficit to fill, with MEES estimating it ran a $4.1bn surplus last year. Doha has budgeted for a $1.2bn surplus for 2019 ( MEES, 1 February ).
But the bond sale is an expedient way to maintain relations with financial institutions pressured by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cool relations with Qatar. It also affords Doha a financial war chest to access if required. (CONTINUED - 132 WORDS)