Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Category: Qatar

The idiots guide to understanding the Middle East

Idiots Guide to ME

Image source: @DismantleFed


For everyone out there who’s confused as to what’s going on in the Middle East, @DismantleFed put together a nice graph summarizing all the players, who they play with and who they don’t play with.  Still confused?  Well, this is the Middle East.  Click on the graph above to get a full-size version.



Who was behind the recent chemical attack in Syria? Did the US play a role?

Syria Chems Capabilities

Source: The Independent

Who was behind the worst chemical attack the world has seen in decades? We may never know.  Both the rebels and the Syrian regime are pointing their fingers at each other.  There is also finger pointing outside Syria.  Russia is blaming the rebels and the US is blaming Assad.  There is more to this story than what is currently being fed to us.


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Gulf countries celebrate demise of democracy in Egypt by giving $12 billion in aid, but there are other motives

Egypt Military Coup

Days after Egypt’s military threw out Mohammed Morsi and his cabinet, Gulf countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledged $12 billion in aid to support the country and the economy.  One reason for this quick aid package is to show their displeasure with Morsi, but there are also other reasons…


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Qatar emir to step down and hand over power to son


In a surprise move, Qatar’s emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is to hand over power to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.  Sheikh Hamad has been the most controversial leader in the Gulf ever since he overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1995, moving Qatar to center stage in terms of Middle East foreign policy.  Qatar also became the wealthiest country in the world in terms of per capita income under his rule.


There’s also a clear message to other Middle East leaders: Don’t hang on to power forever.  In a region where transfer of power is typically triggered by death of a leader, Sheikh Hamad is setting the precedent by willfully handing over power to a successor, even though it’s his own son.  Being leader for life is no longer fashionable.


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Qatar and UAE finally get upgraded to emerging market status while Greece and Morocco go the other way

Photo: Gulf Business

  Qatar and the UAE finally got upgraded to emerging market status by MSCI.  The move is widely celebrated in the region as the ticket to bringing in foreign institutional investors and increase liquidity in the tiny Gulf markets.  Greece, on the other hand, has gone the other way…


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