Qatar orders aid to private sector as boycott hurts economy

New investors in Qatar’s logistics zones will be completely exempt from paying rents for a year if they obtain building permits by certain deadlines. (AP)
Updated 08 October 2017
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Qatar orders aid to private sector as boycott hurts economy

DUBAI: Qatar’s government announced measures to help private sector businesses on Saturday after its economy was hurt by a boycott by other Arab states.
Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani decided to cut rents paid by companies in Qatar’s logistics zones in half during 2018 and 2019, official news agency QNA reported.
New investors in the zones will be completely exempt from paying rents for a year if they obtain building permits by certain deadlines. Qatar Development Bank, a state-founded body which lends to firms, will postpone receiving loan installments for up to six months to facilitate industrial sector projects.
Sheikh Abdullah also told all ministries and government departments to increase their procurement of local products to 100 percent from 30 percent, if the local products meet necessary specifications and the purchases obey tender rules.
Qatar’s economy expanded just 0.6 percent from a year earlier in the April-June quarter, its slowest growth since the 2009-2010 global financial crisis, after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties on June 5.
The four states accuse Doha of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies. The boycott triggered a pull-out of deposits by Gulf states from Qatari banks, deepened a slump in real estate prices and caused a plunge of 18 percent in the stock market.


Stronger US dollar unlikely to derail bullish view on commodities — Goldman Sachs

Updated 21 September 2018
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Stronger US dollar unlikely to derail bullish view on commodities — Goldman Sachs

  • The dollar has been lifted by a stronger-than-expected US economy, the world’s largest
  • A stronger greenback makes the purchase of dollar-denominated international commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies

BENGALURU: Goldman Sachs said a stronger dollar is unlikely to derail its bullish view on commodities, which are likely to find support from physical shortages.
The dollar has been lifted by a stronger-than-expected US economy, the world’s largest, and that’s a positive sign for global growth, the US investment bank said.
The US dollar index has lost more than 1 percent this week, but this follows months of strong demand over US-China trade-related tensions, as investors bet the greenback would gain at the expense of riskier currencies.
“The risk aversion this summer created significant emerging market destocking, particularly in China, as consumers attempted to avoid a strong dollar and tariffs by liquidating inventories,” Goldman said in a note dated on Thursday.
A stronger greenback makes the purchase of dollar-denominated international commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies, making buyers and users more likely to draw on any stored materials in preference to imports.
“This liquidation, however, has a physical limit with Chinese destocking having already created significant increases in physical (premiums) for oil and metals – a sign of physical shortages.”
Going forward, oil had a strong fundamental outlook helped by US demand growth, supply losses and disruptions, and still constrained US shale output, Goldman said.
The bank said its near-term Brent crude oil price target remained at $80 a barrel.
The bank said it was moderating its bullish view for gold due to a sell-off in emerging markets, and it lowered its 12-month price forecast for the metal to $1,325 per ounce, down from $1,450 an ounce earlier.