GULF WEEKLY: Qatar reshuffles cabinet, Kuwait prepares pardons, Bahrain talks with donors

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 22 Oct 2021 by Justin Alexander

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

* Coronavirus cases and deaths are down about -95% from their peak, and restrictions are being lifted.
* The IMF’s REO gave fiscal breakeven oil prices for 2022 from $44 (Qatar) to $107 (Bahrain).
* Saudi Arabia is in a dispute with gig economy firms, including Uber, over huge VAT bills.
* Moody’s revised down 2022 debt forecasts for the UAE to 37% of GDP, and for Abu Dhabi to 19%.
* Fertiglobe’s IPO was priced at $5.8bn and was 21-times oversubscribed.
* Qatar had a major cabinet reshuffle, including splitting four ministries and confirming the finance minister.
* Fitch placed Qatari banks on Rating Watch Negative over external funding concerns.
* Saudi firm Dar Al Arkan will develop a major real estate project in Qatar.
* Kuwait’s Amir is preparing to pardon Arab Spring protestors to prepare the way for a debt law.
* The IMF’s Article IV mission to Kuwait was optimistic that the pardons will resolve the political deadlock.
* Oman received its first significant inflows of VAT revenue in August.
* UAE-Oman border crossings have been moved to facilitate travel, and there is talk of UAE investments.
* Bahrain discussed its extended fiscal balance program with Gulf donors, who expressed support.
* Bahrain’s oil minister still hopes the Khaleej al-Bahrain shale oil will come online in 2023.
* Tunisia’s central bank said there were advanced discussions with Saudi and UAE about support.

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