GULF WEEKLY: OPEC+’s tiny taper, Saudi's large Q2 fiscal surplus, Kuwait heads to elections

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 05 Aug 2022 by Justin Alexander

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

* OPEC+ tapered by just 100k b/d but rising US stocks helped knock prices to a six-month low.
* Iran nuclear talks are back on in Vienna, in perhaps the final opportunity for a deal.
* PMIs remain strong in July in Qatar, Saudi and UAE, and input cost inflation eased from a June peak.
* The Saudi fiscal surplus rose to 8% of GDP in Q2, but spending was up 10% y/y in H1.
* Saudi flash non-oil GDP was up 5.5% y/y in Q2. Oil GDP was up 23%.
* The US is preparing to sell $5bn in air defense missiles to Saudi Arabia and UAE.
* The Yemen ceasefire was extended, although only for two months, not the six sought by the UN.
* The UAE achieved tight spreads (15-16bp) in its latest auction of dirham T-Bonds.
* Kuwait's deficit was -7% of GDP in 2021/22. Approval of this year's budget has been delayed.
* Kuwait may be close to its current oil production capacity and unable to rise much above 2.8m b/d.
* Kuwait’s parliament was dissolved, and a temporary cabinet appointed ahead of October elections.
* Saudi’s PIF invested $300m in an Omani infrastructure fund.
* Bahrain’s FX reserves rebounded strongly, by 24% m/m in June, to a five-month high.
* The occupation of Iraq’s parliament by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr is continuing.
* Databank updates: Saudi & Kuwait fiscal, Saudi GDP, Kuwait inflation, PMIs.

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