GCC

By John Sfakianakis, Ashmore Group

The Gulf economies are in a position of strength to weather the recent plunge in oil prices. Many are better cushioned than at previous times in their economic history despite growing domestic populations. Oil prices are a principal revenue source for most Gulf economies and they serve as an essential litmus test for business confidence in the region.

At US$60 per barrel, the region is still fiscally sound even if more than US$280bn in oil export losses will be incurred in 2015. The move in oil prices has been excessive on the way down but it seems to be bottoming out. Read more

It'll cost you

Commenting on the Russian revolution, Joseph Stalin is alleged to have said, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.” What then is the price of eggs?

HSBC has totted up the lost output of seven states most hit by the Arab Spring, and estimates a loss of $800bn by the end of 2014. Read more

Last year was supposed to represent the pivotal moment in which sukuk debt – Islamic versions of bonds – came into their own as a deep, mature and liquid source of funding.

Issuance data from January suggest the jury is still out. Read more

Putting aside Jordan’s fiscal problems, simmering political tensions, significant unemployment, and need to import energy, the small monarchy’s debt might actually be a pretty good bet.

So says Exotix, the frontier markets specialists, who recently initiated a buy on Jordanian debt — even as other analysts worry that fall-out from the Arab spring has put the nation on a dangerous long-term trajectory. Read more