Two potential catalysts this week could stabilise, potentially reverse Qatar equities' -27% ytd loss:
GCC Summit: Host Kuwait has invited Qatar's emir to the summit. Qatar stocks would benefit from any (surprise) signs of detente with the Saudi bloc. Whilst the Saudi-led economic boycott has taken its toll through 2H17, economic deterioration may stabilise and - for some metrics - may even improve into 2018. Insofar as the geopolitical stand-off does not intensify (base case: unchanged policy stance, with some risk of detente), fundamental deterioration may not accelerate further.
MSCI FX decision: MSCI is expected to decide by 5 Dec whether to use the Qatar Central Bank's official QAR exchange rate (or alternatively the offshore QAR rate) to value the country’s stocks after complaints that the Saudi-led boycott was making access to the official exchange rate difficult. Assets held by Qatar's SWF are enough to maintain an exchange rate of 3.64 QAR to USD, but the Saudi-led embargo has resulted in a gap between the onshore and offshore rates. Clarity with respect to this decision could be a technical positive.
Qatar ETF (QAT) ytd performance vs Saudi (KSA), UAE and Egypt (EGPT):