Qatar’s outlook downgraded as dispute drags on

Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Qatar’s outlook from stable to negative and warned a quick resolution to the country’s diplomatic crisis was unlikely.

A coalition of countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt have severed diplomatic links with Qatar, expelled Qatari nationals and forbidden Qatar’s carriers to use their airspace. Members of the coalition are demanding, among other things, that Qatar breaks off its friendly relations with Iran and closes down its state-owned broadcaster, Al Jazeera.

“Public exchanges between the various parties in recent weeks and previous periods of heightened tensions between Qatar and other GCC countries suggest that a quick resolution is unlikely and that the stalemate may continue for some time,” says Moody’s.

The ratings agency said the current period of uncertainty was likely to extend into next year. Although Qatar is a wealthy country, this uncertainty would affect its credit rating in the long term.

Moody’s also downgraded the outlook on several state-owned enterprises from stable to negative, including Qatar Petroleum, the national oil and gas company.

©2017 funds global mena

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