Our Insights

MbS moves to quash dissent with detainment of senior Saudi royals

26 March 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on March 10, 2020** The move is intended to remind senior members of the ruling Al Saud family that, should King Salman suffer a debilitating health issue or die, current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) will succeed smoothly, and any attempt to disrupt... »

Government push essential to Oman’s diversification plan, but oil market rout will weigh

30 March 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on March 12, 2020** The accession of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said in Jan injected new vigour into a much needed but potentially unpopular reform process. A top-down political and economic reform agenda will be implemented, with a view to spurring foreign investment... »

Kuwait debt law delay could weigh on economic recovery post COVID-19 outbreak

08 April 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on March 18, 2020** A new debt law allowing Kuwait to tap global debt capital markets is unlikely to be approved and implemented in the near future, although the impetus to do so may gain traction as a global rout on oil prices and... »

Al Zurfi’s nomination as Iraq PM first step to ending political deadlock

08 April 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on March 18, 2020** PM-designate Adnan Al Zurfi has until mid-April to form a cabinet and gain parliamentary approval. If successful, Iraq could form a new parliament by 2021, paving the way for greater pushback against Iranian influence in the country. In the meantime,... »

Saudi’s oil price gamble exposes fragile finances

21 April 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on March 25, 2020** Saudi Arabia’s finances risk becoming seriously impaired if oil prices remain lower for longer, with the state budget and balance of payments deficits virtually unfinanceable at $30/b in 2020. The massive cuts to spending needed could lead to political and... »

Contenders in Kuwait’s line of succession

21 April 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on March 27, 2020** Uncertainty over the line of succession is becoming an increasingly important topic for Kuwait, where political deadlock has largely prevented the ultra-wealthy and low-populated country from enacting reforms to diversify its economy and run its public finances in a more... »

Ratings downgrades in Kuwait, Oman add to growing GCC economic concerns

13 May 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on April 1** Ratings downgrades in Kuwait and Oman, prompted by plunging oil revenues, widening deficits and increased borrowing needs, will make accessing global funding more expensive and difficult, especially for regional economic laggard Oman. Although important, ratings do not always reflect the full... »

Qatar bond plans will be market test for opportunistic Gulf borrowers

13 May 2020
**Written and disseminated to select contacts on April 7** Qatar is set to become the first Gulf country to tap global bond markets since oil prices plummeted last month. In spite of a low-oil-price environment and COVID-19-related global economic slowdown, the country on Tuesday began marketing five- 10- and 30-year... »

UAE construction to struggle in current conditions – but emerge more streamlined and efficient

13 May 2020
**Written and disseminated among select contacts on April 7** Government aid measures to support the construction industry will help lessen the impact of low oil prices and economic slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, companies will be pushed to make critical decisions about project pipelines, efficiency and supply chain resilience... »

UAE banks face multiple challenges

20 May 2020
**Written and disseminated among select contacts on April 15** Substantial government stimulus measures will help the UAE’s banking sector navigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis, but doubts remain over whether they will effectively translate into swift economic recovery once restrictions are lifted. Lenders certainly have the ability to lend... »

Saudi ports: Bigger private sector role in development, overcapacity risk looms

28 May 2020
**Written and disseminated among select contacts on May 5th** Increasing private sector investments into Saudi port developments reflect the big potential of the maritime and logistics sector, but there is a risk that capacity may end up exceeding global demand. The government has improved regulations and set up sizeable investment funds... »

Jordan eases COVID-19 restrictions – but economic revival remains far off

28 May 2020
**Written and disseminated among select contacts on May 5th** Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Tareq Hammouri, announced on Sunday, May 3, that all economic sectors are permitted to reopen at full capacity starting the following Wednesday as long as Jordanian nationals comprise 75% or more of the work force.... »

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