Moody's says higher oil prices, public spending support Gulf non-financial companies

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Dec 2017

Moody's main headquarter (Reuters)

Global credit rating agency Moody's says higher oil prices and continued public spending support the stable 2018 outlook on non-financial companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

"Improving oil prices, which are narrowing fiscal deficits, as well as an ongoing commitment to public spending and a supportive stance towards government-related issuers will underpin the stable outlook on GCC companies over the next 12 months," said Rehan Akbar, Vice President  and Senior Analyst at Moody's.
GCC consists of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. 
The report says “oil prices above $50/bbl will allow countries with large fiscal buffers and small populations, such as the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, to implement fiscal reforms at a slower pace than their regional peers.”
The report, however, highlighted that the 2018 outlook for companies in both Turkey and South Africa is negative. 
"Limited clarity on policy direction and on the pace of implementation of structural economic reforms, as well as political risks and high currency volatility drive the negative 2018 outlook for Turkish companies," Akbar added.
"Similarly, the negative outlook for firms in South Africa reflects continued political and policy uncertainty, and depressed business and consumer demand."
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