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Apr 2021

GCC economies to take several quarters to recover: S&P

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Mar 2021

The business cycle in Gulf countries is likely to take “several quarters at least to fully recover” from the twin shocks of the coronavirus pandemic and the drop in oil prices, according to S&P Global Ratings.
 
Corporate and infrastructure companies in the six-nation GCC are expected to operate “conservatively” in 2021 as the economy recovers, according to the report released in early February.
 
“Absent a substantial recovery in revenue generation, they are likely to focus on cost optimisation, proactively managing their liquidity, and preserving their cash lows, while new investments will continue to take a back seat in most sectors,” S&P credit analyst Timucin Engin said in the report.
 
“After suffering a major contraction in 2020, we expect aggregate real GDP growth of just 2.5% in the GCC economies between 2021 and 2023.”
 
The report also said, “Pressures look set to continue in corporate sectors, particularly for companies operating in tourism, aviation, real estate, and non-food retail.”
 
In addition, the resolution of the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt is expected to be positive for Qatar’s real estate and tourism sectors, S&P said, although it added, “We think it is too early to expect demand for these two sectors to improve significantly.” M 
 
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