The Primary GCC Bonds and Sukuk market witnessed a record year in 2019, with an all-time high total of USD 114.172 billion raised through Sovereign and Corporate issuances and representing a 24% increase from 2018. Issuances of Conventional bonds continue to be the preferred type of primary issue within the GCC market with USD 85.078 billion worth of issuances in 2019 -a 25% increase from the previous year, whilst Sukuk issuances continue to demonstrate healthy growth year-on-year with USD 29.094 billion worth of issuances -an increase of 22% from 2018.
As of 31 December 2019, the value of outstanding GCC Bonds and Sukuk issuances amounted to USD 596.651 billion, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 36% of outstanding GCC issuances. In terms of market performance, the S&P MENA Bond and Sukuk Index posted a noteworthy total return of 13.47%. Moreover, 5-Year Sovereign CDS spreads narrowed across all GCC countries during 2019, where the most significant YoY change witnessed was Qatar with -56% change.