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S&P warns of slow growth in 2017

Governments in the Gulf region will remain under pressure in 2017, despite the upturn in oil prices, as the creditworthiness of sovereign borrowers continues to deteriorate. The trend of weaker economic activity is set to linger according to a report released on 10 January by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. S&P rates nine sovereigns in the region: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ras Al-Khaimah and Sharjah.Over the past 12 months, ratings have been trending down, with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia both suffering a cut and the outlooks on Oman and Sharjah revised to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.

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