Since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday 5 June 2017, and moved to close off access to the Gulf country, there have been a few developments.
Since our previous alert on 7 June 2017:
- The Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Qatar is willing to listen to Gulf concerns.
- Senegal has joined nations cutting ties with Qatar and is recalling its ambassador, bringing the number of nations to 11 (the others being Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Mauritania, United Nations of Comoros, Maldives and Mauritius). Jordan has revoked the license of Doha-based TV channel Al Jazeera.
- Airlines continue to be affected: Australian carrier Qantas has banned Qatari nationals from flights to Dubai.
- Qatar has not issued any travel ban for its nationals, and has not asked Saudi, Bahraini or UAE nationals to leave Qatar.
- Shipping: Like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the Egyptian government has banned all vessels carrying the Qatari flag from passing through Egyptian ports. Shipments from the US or the EU to Qatar are not prohibited.
- This has further impacted the oil and gas sector, particularly with LNG trade and Qatar being the world's biggest LNG producer - at least one tanker has had to change course and UK gas prices have spiked. Nevertheless, analysts do not see an interruption in supply in the LNG market.
- Markets are still jumpy: Last week, Qatar’s stock market shrank by about US$11 billion in value and the Doha index tumbled 7.1 percent, while the Qatari riyal has been falling on worries of capital outflows.
- The regional Central Banks have started to respond: the UAE Central Bank issued instructions for freezing accounts, deposits, investments of designated terrorists, terror organisations, and increased "know your customer" requirements for dealings with certain Qatar-based banks. Bahrain has taken similar measures. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency has ordered lenders in the country not to increase their exposure to any Qatari clients.
- Standard & Poor's Global Ratings lowered its long-term rating on the State of Qatar to 'AA-' from 'AA' and placed the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications.
- Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain issued a list of individuals and entities linked to Qatar over terrorism.
- Turkey has approved bill allowing troops to be deployed in Qatar and approving an accord between the two countries on military officer training cooperation, and Qatar is in talks with Iran and Turkey to secure food and water supplies.
- Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain announced that exceptions for some Qatari residents ordered to leave the three countries will be considered for humanitarian causes. Qataris married to their Saudi, UAE or Bahrain citizens will be exempt from the order. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have set up a hotline to assist Qatari citizens affected by the boycott.