March 16, 2020 / 8:41 AM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Gulf bonds extend losses as coronavirus fears, oil price war deepen

(Adds other bonds, context)

DUBAI, March 16 (Reuters) - International bonds issued by borrowers in the Gulf extended losses on Monday, including Saudi government bonds and those issued by its oil giant Saudi Aramco, as the coronavirus outbreak and tumbling oil prices continued to hit the region’s debt and equity markets.

The region’s debt markets have been hit hard over the past 10 days, as uncertainty grew over the virus and by the fallout from an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia that last week sent oil prices to their lowest levels since 2016.

Saudi government and Aramco 30-year dollar bonds, due in 2049, shed 0.8 cents on the dollar in early trade, Refinitiv data showed.

Aramco’s shares also slumped 3% on Monday, a day after the company reported a nearly 21% drop in its yearly profit and a plan to cut capital spending this year.

Abu Dhabi, seen as one of the region’s strongest credits, lost 0.5 cents on its 30-year bonds maturing in 2047 in early trade, while Qatar’s 30-year bonds due in 2049 fell 0.7 cents.

Oman, rated “junk” by all three ratings agencies, saw steeper losses, shedding 1.5 cents on its bonds due in 2048.

Oman was downgraded deeper into junk territory by Fitch on Thursday, which followed Moody’s similar move the week before.

Bahrain, also rated junk, lost 0.5 cents on its bonds maturing in 2047.

Ten-year bonds from the region also posted losses in early trade: notes from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Oman all shed 0.5 cents or more. (Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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