A higher average oil price over the course of 2018 meant Gulf governments tapped debt capital markets less frequently throughout the year, a new report has said.
A note from KAMCO Research, a division of Kuwait Asset Management Company, published last week stated that "after three consecutive years of growth and record issuances in 2017", the fixed income market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) paused last year, with primary debt issuance of bonds and sukuk falling by 14.1 percent to $105.9 billion.
The number of venture capital deals backing MENA-based start-ups hit a record high of $893 million in 2018, a 31 percent increase on the $679 million raised in 2017, and 2.6 percent higher than the $870 mllion raised in 2016, according to a 2018 MENA Venture Investment Report released by data platform MAGNiTT.
The number of investments also increased by 3 percent on last year, with 366 investments made, the report added.
The ratings agency lowered its average annual price assumptions for Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for 2019 down to $55/bbl and $50/bbl respectively, with these average prices likely to remain stable until 2021.
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) also released its outlook for the year, forecasting that oil prices will likely trade between $60-70/bbl from the second half of 2019, barring any major global economic slowdown.
The number of Gulf companies listing on public stock markets declined last year, as did the amount of money raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) of shares, a new report has shown.
A paper published earlier this week by Kuwait Asset Management Company (KAMCO) found that there were 18 listings of firms based in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last year, a 36 percent fall from the 28 IPOs in 2017.
The total amount of assets held in investment funds in Saudi Arabia dropped by 1.24 billion Saudi riyals during the third quarter of last year to 117.86 billion Saudi riyals ($31.4 billion), from 119.1 billion Saudi riyals in the second quarter, the latest data released by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority showed.
Despite the decrease in the overall assets held in investment funds, assets of real estate investment funds recorded a 26 percent jump in the third quarter to 11.7 billion Saudi riyals, from 9.3 billion Saudi riyals during the earlier quarter.
"Market expectations for continued strong oil demand growth remain in place, despite concerns about slowing demand growth as a result of weaker economic growth, the impact of tariffs and a strong U.S. dollar," Steve Wood, Moody's managing director for oil and gas, said.