Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Category: Qatar

Abu Dhabi set to become largest foreign investor in Malaysia

Gulf countries have invested billions of dollars in Malaysia over the past decade.  Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were the earliest to invest, followed by Dubai.  The two most recent investors in Malaysia have been Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Up until now, Qatar was expected to be the largest foreign investor in the country, but now it looks as if Abu Dhabi might take that title.

 

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Earthquakes in Iran shake Gulf country leaders into discussing nuclear safety

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Source: BBC News

  

Two earthquakes one week apart near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant not only shook buildings across the Gulf, but also shook the leaders of Gulf countries.  They are now rushing to take a close look at nuclear safety.  The Bushehr power plant sits right across the Gulf from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia’s main oil export terminals.  Any Fukushima-type event in Bushehr will affect millions of people in the region and will surely hit world markets as the Gulf’s main oil export routes are only a short distance away.

 

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Qatar backtracks on aid to Egypt, Libya joins in and gives Egypt $2 billion interest-free loan

Qatar has had a change of heart on giving more aid to Egypt.  Last month, Qatar announced that it was not going to give Egypt additional aid after pumping $5 billion into the country.  See our earlier post on this here.  Libya also joined in and is giving Egypt a $2 billion interest-free loan, which would have been unheard of before the Arab Spring.  Here’s the story from Reuters:

 

Arab allies Qatar and Libya gave cash-strapped Egypt a $5 billion double boost on Wednesday as the Arab world’s most populous nation struggles to secure an IMF loan to ease its deepening economic crisis.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said after talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil that Qatar would provide an extra $3 billion on top of some $5 billion the Gulf state has already given Cairo, and would extend gas supplies to Egypt this summer as needed.

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Libya considers giving aid to Egypt

Now here’s a story you would have never expected to see before 2011.  Here’s the article from the Voice of America:

 

Libya is considering extending financial aid to Egypt to help its North African neighbor overcome a severe economic crisis, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan said on Wednesday.

Egypt, which has endured more than two years of political instability since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, is struggling with sliding currency reserves, falling tourism and a soaring budget deficit.

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Egypt close to default and Bahrain one step away from junk bond status

Cyprus has been dominating the financial news over the past two weeks.  The crisis seemed to come out of nowhere and rattle financial markets.  There are many questions that come up with events like these.  One key question is, did this crisis really come out of nowhere?  Another key question is, how can we spot potential crisis in the future?  What about the Middle East and the GCC in particular, are there any trouble spots?

 

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