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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Moody’s: Brexit to have little impact on Gulf wealth funds

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UK and Qatar flags
UK and Qatar flags

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and others in the region likely won’t suffer much from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, credit rating agency Moody’s has said.

This is because trade exposure to the UK is limited and the size of the sovereign wealth funds offer “resilience against potential fluctuations in the value of some assets,” Moody’s stated in a new report.

Late last month, the success of the Brexit referendum caused a panic in financial markets, devaluing British currency and leading to concerns about a recession in the UK.

Vulnerabilities

While the riyal, which is pegged to the US dollar, has grown relatively stronger, there are questions about whether Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund could suffer after investing billions of dollars in UK properties.

According to Moody’s, Qatar and the UAE could also be vulnerable if UK banks decide to make cuts in the region.

But the agency concluded that the long-term horizon of GCC wealth funds should help them weather any immediate drops in value, adding:

“Nonetheless, the risk of a sudden scale-back in operations is limited and stocks have proved relatively stable through past shocks.”

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