​GULF WEEKLY: Saudi deficit eases, Oman got Qatari cash, France faces boycott

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 30 Oct 2020 by Rory Fyfe and Justin Alexander

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

* Oil fell to a five-month low below $38 on Covid worries and revived Libyan production.
* The Saudi Q3 deficit eased to -$10.9bn on stronger oil and VAT revenue.
* Major reforms appear to be coming to the Saudi labor market.
* S&P downgraded RAK & Sharjah, but Moody’s affirmed Abu Dhabi.
* Qatar’s preliminary Q2 deficit was just -1% of GDP.
* Moody’s annual review of Qatar praised its Covid response.
* Kuwait’s undersecretary of finance resigned in protest at a reshuffle.
* Oman has reportedly received a $1bn deposit from Qatar.
* Bahrain’s FX reserves dipped sharply in August, to $1.1bn, before the bond replenished them.
* Israel approved the US F-35 sale to UAE and seems resigned that Qatar might also get them.
* Consumers and some firms began boycotting French goods over a renewed cartoons dispute.
* Trump said Sudan will normalize with Israel, but the deal is only preliminary.

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