GULF WEEKLY: Saudi warns oil short sellers, S&P expects a balanced Dubai budget, record demand for Adnoc Logistics IPO

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 26 May 2023 by Justin Alexander

A skimmable summary overlaid with our analysis and links. Headlines:

* The Saudi oil minister warned short sellers as bearish bets on oil reached the highest in over a decade.
* Flights resumed between Qatar and Bahrain, and their frequency will increase to at least 6 daily.
* $8bn in financing was secured for Neom’s green hydrogen plant.
* There was very strong IPO demand for Jamjoom in Saudi Arabia and Adnoc Logistics in the UAE.
* Demand for dollar sukuk was also strong, with Banque Saudi Fransi and MAF issuing.
* A rare S&P note on Dubai forecasts a roughly balanced budget in 2023-6 and falling debt.
* Fitch estimated much stronger growth and fiscal surplus for RAK in 2022 than previously expected.
* QIA announced a market-making program to support the local stock market.
* Oman’s inflation fell to a two-year low of 1.1% despite a 16.6% y/y increase in the expat population.
* Bank Dhofar upped its bid to buy Ahli Bank.
* Oman is mediating a Belgium-Iran prisoner swap ahead of the Sultan’s first visit to Tehran.
* An IMF mission was positive on Bahrain’s reform agenda but trimmed estimates and forecasts.
* A UN report estimated that 3.3m Gulf nationals live below the poverty line, down -14% in a decade.
* Databank updates: Oman inflation and population, forecasts for Bahrain, Dubai, RAK, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and UAE.

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