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Syndicated loans in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council region are having their slowest year since 2013 as public spending on new projects declines and borrowers switch to the bond market. The volume of bank loans to the region, which includes the two biggest Arab economies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has dropped 65 percent so far in 2017 to $19.2 billion, the lowest for the period in four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In contrast, money raised on the international bond market has surged 46 percent to $42.7 billion, a record for the period.The new trend of a greater reliance on the bond market than on syndicated loans for financing represents a positive rebalancing of the funding mix for corporates and quasi-sovereigns entities in the region, according to Kishi at Deutsche Bank.
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