Op-Ed: Despite powerful cast of mediators, Saudi-led rift with Qatar hits expats

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Qatari government revenues depend heavily on the country`s energy sector, and with global crude prices remaining at stubbornly low levels, official spending may start to eat into foreign currency reserves.
The uncertainty has also hit overseas investment, with regionally focused portfolio managers and business executives understandably spooked by the blockade and the relatively opaque geopolitics behind it.
Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati institutions also have billions invested in Qatari companies and financial firms, and though the country`s banks have relatively limited credit exposure across the Gulf region, around a quarter of deposits are held by non-residents.
Any unilateral move that prompted the withdrawal of that capital could prove relatively damaging, and investors seemed poised to price in that possibility, with the bank-heavy local stock market, the QSI, falling more than 3 percent over the weekend.
Resolving the rift between Qatar and its Arab neighbors will doubtless require an equal measure of public political posturing and behind-closed-doors negotiations.
But even with the diverse diplomatic cast of powerful supporting actors, ranging from U.
President Donald Trump and senior members of his cabinet to the elderly Emir of Kuwait, there are few guarantees that political risk in the Gulf region will recede in the near future.

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