Saudi Arabia Leads Emerging Markets in Bond Issuance, Surpasses China

Saudi Arabia has overtaken China as the leading issuer of international debt among emerging markets

Saudi Arabia has surpassed China as the leading issuer of international debt among emerging markets, ending Beijing's 12-year dominance in the same. The Gulf nation is borrowing at an unprecedented rate this year, with both government and corporate entities driving a surge in new bond sales.

As per a report by Bloomberg, this surge comes as global debt investors increasingly support Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 plan. Meanwhile, Chinese borrowers are witnessing a strong demand for local-currency bonds, resulting in a slowdown in their international issuance which is now one of the lowest in recent years.

Saudi Arabia overtaking China in international debt issuance is a big deal because the former nation's economy is much smaller, about 1/16th the size of China's. The Gulf nation is planning on becoming a major global business center by 2030.

As per data cited in the report, investors are confident about the country raising money to fund projects that can make its economy less dependent on oil. The nation is also planning to position itself as a link between Asia and Europe.

At the same time, other emerging countries are also having a positive year for bond issuance.

So far this year, bond sales from Saudi Arabian entities have risen by 8 per cent, surpassing $33 billion in total. The government alone makes up more than half of this amount, which includes a $5 billion dollar-denominated sukuk deal last month.

The country is also eyeing an alternative funding source to cover an expected fiscal deficit of about $21 billion this year. The total funding activities are expected to touch the $37 billion mark this year.

It is worth noting that the kingdom has lately been heavily reliant on bond markets due to lower-than-expected foreign direct investment and declining oil revenue from supply cuts.

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