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Gulf States News - Risk Management Report - Issue 984

GSN’s annual New Year assessment of the political and economic factors that impact on the region includes individual reports and revised full-page maps for the GCC, its member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE) plus Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen. The past year has not been a good one for the Middle East, and, while the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) monarchies remain a relatively stable and prosperous oasis in a troubled region, 2015 is by no means shaping up to be an easy year. With the exception of the emirate of Dubai (recovering from a low base triggered by its past credit crunch woes), none of the GSN political risk grades have risen during 2014. Iraq has been downgraded, and negative momentum identified in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Yemen. Economies face pressures from further conflict and punishing falls in the price of oil. Years of high oil prices that allowed for foreign reserves to build – and in some cases significant diversification from hydrocarbons dependency – will stand the richer states in good stead; for others, there are tough times ahead.

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