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Investor appetite for Gulf Arab bonds remains high: experts

The market for Gulf Arab bonds and Sukuk achieved an all-time high issuance of 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, with sustained investor appetite expected in 2018. A recent study titled "The GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) Fixed Income Market: Then and Now," said that 70% of all debt and Sukuk issuances were from sovereigns, while 30% were from corporations. The study was conducted by Emirates NBD and Swiss portfolio management firm Fisch Asset Management. Regarding the outlook for 2018, increased debt issuance could continue in the region despite elevated geopolitical instability. According to Usman Ahmed, Head of Investments at Emirates NBD, growth of the GCC's debt investor base is expected to continue in 2018, with demand coming from the record inflows to emerging markets and supply provided by the diversification needs of the region.

#Brunei launches financial literacy body for saving-oriented culture

Brunei set up the National Financial Literacy Council for creating a prudent and saving-oriented culture. A study made in 2015 revealed that in Brunei 34% of the household respondents do not have a household budget, as for individual respondents 49% do not actively save, while 24% need credit to finance their everyday needs. The National Financial Literacy Council was established with the aim of ensuring that all Bruneians have access to well-suited financial products, independent and credible information and advice. Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah said the establishment of this council was timely and helpful in raising the quality of life of the people, specifically in terms of financial well-being.

China donates 500,000 USD to restore water to Maldives capital

The Chinese government has donated 500,000 U.S. dollars to the Maldives government to speed up repairs in a desalination plant and restore water to the capital. The donation was done after the Maldives government announced an estimated 20 million U.S. dollars would be needed to repair the plant that was damaged in a fire on Thursday resulting in the capital's population of 130,000 being without water for four days. The country hopes to also get monetary aid from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and other Arab governments. Private donors have also chipped in with an anonymous 1 million U. S. dollars coming in from a Saudi businessman.

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