FILE PHOTO: Cars drive past the building of Qatar Central Bank in Doha, Qatar, June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon/File Photo
Qatar Central Bank in Doha. The IMF has forecast that non-oil growth will reverse for the country this year. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters

Qatar non-oil growth to slow as isolation continues, says IMF



Qatar’s non-oil economic growth will slow this year as a result of the country’s economic isolation by its Arabian Gulf neighbours, according to the IMF.

“Non-oil growth is projected to moderate to 4.6 per cent in 2017 from 5.6 per cent in 2016, due to the ongoing fiscal consolidation and trade diversion,” said Mohammed El Qorchi, the leader of an IMF team that visited Doha from August 13-20 to take stock of recent economic developments.

“Over the medium term, non-hydrocarbon GDP growth is expected to reach 4.8 per cent, as structural reforms are implemented," he added.”

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and other countries severed diplomatic, economic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs. Qatar has denied the charges.

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Read more:

Qatar’s big economic conundrum

Fitch adds voice to warnings over Qatar’s credit

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Mr El Qorchi noted the country’s isolation prompted a 40 per cent contraction in imports for June, followed by a slight recovery in July. The country’s efforts to diversify sources of imports and external financing and enhance domestic food processing had subsequently accelerated, he said.

But the standoff between Qatar and its neighbours could seriously harm the country's economy if not resolved soon, said Mr El Qorchi. 
"Over the longer term, the diplomatic rift could weaken confidence and reduce investment and growth," he said, adding that it might "possibly" affect other GCC countries as well.

Fitch Ratings last week cut Qatar’s sovereign rating by a notch, saying citing slim prospects of ending the diplomatic and logistical isolation by its neighbours.

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Read more:

Moody's cuts Qatar's bank outlook to negative as concerns about profitability rise amid Gulf crisis

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Qatar’s headline inflation remains subdued at 0.8 per cent for June, even though transportation (8.9 per cent) and food costs (2 per cent) have edged up, according to the IMF.  Delays caused by rerouting trade have raised operational costs for some businesses, the fund noted.

Local banks had come under pressure during the dispute, with some lenders in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cutting their exposure to Qatar.

Foreign deposits dropped the most in two years in June, according to Bloomberg, and Moody’s Investors Service cut its outlook on Qatar’s banking system to negative on weakening operating conditions.

Policymakers mitigated the impact on local lenders’ balance sheets by injecting liquidity and boosting public sector deposits, and Qatari banks remain “sound, with high asset quality and strong capitalisation,” the IMF said.

In line with the rest of the GCC, Qatar plans to introduce VAT next year, which should help to shore up its reserves, the fund noted.

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

Places to go for free coffee
  • Cherish Cafe Dubai, Dubai Investment Park, are giving away free coffees all day. 
  • La Terrace, Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai, are serving their first 50 guests one coffee and four bite-sized cakes
  • Wild & The Moon will be giving away a free espresso with every purchase on International Coffee Day
  • Orange Wheels welcome parents are to sit, relax and enjoy goodies at ‘Café O’ along with a free coffee
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Racecard

5pm: Al Bateen – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m
5.30pm: Al Khaleej – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m
6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m
6.30pm: Al Nahyan – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: Al Karamah – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
7.30pm: Al Salam – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

ESSENTIALS

The flights 
Emirates, Etihad and Swiss fly direct from the UAE to Zurich from Dh2,855 return, including taxes.
 

The chalet
Chalet N is currently open in winter only, between now and April 21. During the ski season, starting on December 11, a week’s rental costs from €210,000 (Dh898,431) per week for the whole property, which has 22 beds in total, across six suites, three double rooms and a children’s suite. The price includes all scheduled meals, a week’s ski pass, Wi-Fi, parking, transfers between Munich, Innsbruck or Zurich airports and one 50-minute massage per person. Private ski lessons cost from €360 (Dh1,541) per day. Halal food is available on request.


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