Arab States Face $94 Billion Debt Crunch on Oil Slump, HSBC Says

Gulf Cooperation Council countries may struggle to refinance $94 billion of debt in the next two years as the region faces slowing growth, rising rates and rating downgrades, according to HSBC Holdings Plc. Oil-rich GCC states have to refinance $52 billion of bonds and $42 billion of syndicated loans, mostly in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, HSBC said in an e-mailed report. The countries also face a fiscal and current account deficit of $395 billion over the period, it said. Expectations that these funding gaps “will be part financed through the sale of sovereign U.S. dollar debt will complicate efforts to refinance existing paper that matures over 2016 and 2017,” Simon Williams, HSBC’s chief economist for the Middle East, said in the report. “With the Gulf acting as a single credit market, the refinancing challenge will likely be much more broadly felt” and “compounded by tightening regional liquidity, […]

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