​GULF WEEKLY: Oman issues bonds and appoints heir, Kuwait’s cabinet resigns, Covid rates rise

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 15 Jan 2021 by Justin Alexander

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

* The UAE has reached 14% vaccination but covid infection rates have tripled in two weeks.
* The core of Neom is envisaged as a 170km futuristic zero-carbon linear city called “The Line”.
* Oman sold $3.25bn in bonds, more than expected and about a third of the 2021 financing need.
* The bond prospectus provided some useful detail on reform plans but was silent on efforts to secure Gulf financial support.
* The Sultan’s son Dhi Yazan was appointed Oman’s crown prince under a new Basic Law.
* The (temporary) surge in LNG spot prices to double their previous record is a boost for Qatar.
* Kuwait’s cabinet resigned to avoid a parliamentary grilling of the prime minister, who will be replaced.
* Pompeo is complicating a Biden détente by accusing Iran of hosting al-Qaeda and designating the Houthis as terrorists.
* There are hints of an openness in the UAE and Saudi to a thaw in relations with Turkey.
* Lebanon’s largest Christian party is refusing to join a new government on Harari’s terms.

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