Middle East & Africa: Economic overview

March 2016

The weakening sovereign ratings of countries in the Middle East are hindering investment.

In February, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded the sovereign credit ratings of several Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – in particular, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman – citing weak oil prices. The long-term credit rating of Saudi Arabia was slashed by two notches, from ‘A+’ to ‘A-‘, in the second downgrade by S&P since October 2015. S&P expects low oil prices will have a lasting impact on Saudi Arabia’s fiscal and economic indicators.

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