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INVESTORS RETURNING [Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)]
[June 08, 2014]

INVESTORS RETURNING [Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)]

(Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MANAMA: The Gulf's strong economic performance is establishing it as a mainstream investment destination, reveals new statistics. The trend, underlined on the equities side by international investment compiler MSCI, is helping attract global funds.

This is in stark contrast to the historic decision yesterday by the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut its deposit rate to below zero! This is to weaken the euro and discourage investors from hoarding cash.

The ECB, for the first time, will charge banks 0.1 per cent for parking funds.

It aims to fight off the risk of Japan-like deflation and bring down the euro's exchange rate.

In an indication of the Gulf's growing economic strength, an impending bond issue by Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications firm Etisalat set a record for tight pricing as the GCC becomes more of a mainstream investment destination.

Etisalat's debut bond will replace some of the debt used to fund its $5.7 billion purchase of a majority stake in Morocco's Maroc Telecom from France's Vivendi .

The size has not been fixed but some bankers speculate that it will be between $2bn and $3bn - a level that would be easily absorbed by massive investor demand. The largest deal from the Gulf so far in 2014 was Saudi Electricity Company's $2.5bn, two-part sukuk in April.

The ECB's decision to cut its deposit rate below zero is also conducive for the Etisalat bond.

(c) 2014 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

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