Qatar bond plans will be market test for opportunistic Gulf borrowers

Qatar bond plans will be market test for opportunistic Gulf borrowers

**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 bonds, which it hopes will raise at least $5bn. The bond is expected to go on sale later today.

Rachna Uppal | Senior Analyst | r.uppal@castlereagh.net

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

Recent news on ports and shipping in the Gulf has offered some stark contrasts. On the one hand, a landmark reached in Qatar’s project to equip Doha port to receive giant cruise ships, and the announcement of a slew of deals for Chinese companies to invest in projects serving ports in the UAE and Saudi Arabia; on the other, a further downturn in container traffic at Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Mina Rashid ports – and the ramping up of tensions in the Strait of Hormuz with Iran’s seizure of a UK-flagged tanker on its way to pick a cargo of petrochemicals in Saudi Arabia.

Middle East gas players weigh up how to deal with the US LNG surge

Middle East gas players weigh up how to deal with the US LNG surge

Saudi Aramco’s recent proposed investment in Sempra Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Port Arthur, Texas, is indicative of the growing power of the US in the global energy market. The surge in US oil production has already had a major impact on the Middle East: the oil price crash which began in 2014 put an end to a 12-year period of budgetary comfort for MENA oil exporters, largely because of the extra US output. That country’s rapid climb up the ranks of the world’s LNG exporters is now an important factor in the calculations of many regional economies in which natural gas is of strategic importance, whether in the domestic energy mix or as an export commodity.