​GULF WEEKLY: Omani mineral exports surge, Covid restrictions ease, Royals hang in shorts

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 24 Sep 2021 by Justin Alexander

A skimmable summary overlaid with our analysis and links. Headlines:

* MBS hosted a casual bro's gathering in Neom for Qatar’s Emir and MBZ’s brother. Ministers from Qatar and Turkey also participated in a meeting in Dubai in a further sign of the regional de-escalation trend.
* There were further indications at the UN that Iran nuclear talks will restart within a few weeks. More Saudi-Iran talks are also pending.
* However, UAE exports to Saudi fell -33% in July, possibly due to the restrictive new customs rules.
* Brent crude rose to a three-year high of $77 amidst supply weakness.
* The Houthis made further advances in Yemen, making imminent peace talks unlikely.
* The Covid decline has continued, enabling the UAE to ease its mask mandate and Oman to reopen mosques.
* Demand for IPOs is strong, with Adnoc Drilling increasing its offering to 11% and ACWA Power attracting orders.
* Qatar’s decisions on LNG partners and the next expansion phase have been delayed until Q1.
* Qatar sold QR15bn ($4.2bn) in 5-7 year local bonds and sukuk.
* Kuwait’s current account balance narrowed sharply in Q1 due to reduced investment income.
* Oman’s mineral exports surged in H1, nearly tripling y/y in an encouraging sign of diversification.
* Bahrain’s non-oil exports rose by 103% y/y in August, and there were other indicators of economic recovery.
* There was a failed coup in Sudan, while in Tunisia the president's power grab intensified. Algeria closed its airspace to Morocco.

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