The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) logo is seen during a meeting in Manama, Bahrain April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Middle East international bond sales are off to the strongest ever start to a year as borrower demand for funds outstrips the firepower of local banks in an era of depressed oil prices. Hard-currency bond issuance from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which accounts for the bulk of the region's capital markets and includes Saudi Arabia, its largest economy, more than quadrupled in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data. GCC bond sales in the first quarter surged 359 percent to $24.2 billion, helped by an $8 billion debut issue from the Kuwaiti government and a $5 billion offering from Oman, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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