​GULF WEEKLY: Bahrain issues bond, Qatar’s Q3 GDP rebounds, Covid surges in Dubai

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 22 Jan 2021 by Justin Alexander

A skimmable summary of key developments overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include:

* Biden will consult with allies before dealing with Iran, but his key nominees support the JCPOA.
* Dubai cancelled live entertainment as Covid surges, although it is 2nd globally in vaccinations.
* There was progress on restoring Qatar-Quartet links, but Bahrain remains critical.
* Saudi Arabia reduced executions and cut the sentence of a jailed American to ease tensions with Biden.
* Adnoc announced a strategy for hydrogen fuel, while Aramco has been under-reporting CO2.
* Qatar’s non-oil GDP rebounded by 9% q/q in Q3, more than Saudi or Bahrain, but is down -5% y/y.
* Kuwait’s emir accepted the government resignation. S&P affirmed Kuwait at AA- (Negative).
* The IMF began a mission to Oman, a boost for transparency, but the new law on parliament makes budget discussions secret.
* Oman saw a -13% decline in jobs in 2020 (-3% Omanis, -16% expats).
* Bahrain issued $2bn in 7-30 year bonds with $10bn in orders.
* Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch urged President Aoun to reconcile with Saad Hariri.
* Iraq suffered its largest terrorist attack in three years and, separately, delayed elections to October.
* Tunisia is suffering the worst unrest since the Arab Spring over 37% youth unemployment.

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