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MENA Sovereign Borrowing To Increase By 25%To $136 Billion In 2019, Says Report

Sunday, February 24, 2019/ Editor -  

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Feb. 24, 2019:  S&P Global Ratings believes sovereign long-term commercial borrowing in the Middle East and North African (MENA) could increase by 25% this year after falling 38% in 2018. See the report 'Sovereign Debt 2019:

MENA Borrowing To Increase By 25% To $136 Billion, ' published today. This is chiefly because higher oil prices and fiscal consolidation measures in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries significantly reduced GCC sovereigns' funding needs in 2018. However, lower oil prices in 2019 will not support a further reduction in GCC fiscal deficits (see 'S&P Global Ratings Lowers Brent And WTI Oil Price Assumptions For 2019 Through 2020; Natural Gas Price Assumptions Are Unchanged,' published Jan. 3, 2019, on RatingsDirect). 

At the same time, we expect Kuwait, Egypt, and Iraq to significantly increase their gross commercial long-term borrowing in 2019 compared with 2018. We expect that about 44% of MENA sovereigns' $136 billion of gross borrowing this year will go toward refinancing maturing long-term debt, resulting in an estimated net borrowing requirement of $76 billion.

Adding amounts owed to biand multilateral institutions, total debt will reach about $892 billion, a year-on-year increase of $85 billion, or 11%. We expect that outstanding short-term commercial debt (original tenor of less than one year) will rise to $169 billion by the end of this year.


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