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The Changing Geopolitics in the Arab World: Implications of the 2017 Gulf Crisis for Business

Jamal Bouoiyour and Refk Selmi

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Abstract: The international community was caught by surprise on 5 June 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region. More than one year after this diplomatic rift, several questions remain unaddressed. This study focuses on the regional business costs of the year-long blockade on Qatar. We split the sample to compare the stock market performances of Qatar and its Middle Eastern neighbors before and after the Saudi-led Qatar boycott. We focus our attention on the conditional volatility process of stock market returns and risks related to financial interconnectedness. We show that the Gulf crisis had the most adverse impact on Qatar together with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Although not to the same degree as these three countries, Bahrain and Egypt were also harmfully affected. But shocks to the volatility process tend to have short-lasting effects. Moreover, the total volatility spillovers to and from others increase but moderately after the blockade. Overall, the quartet lobbying efforts did not achieve the intended result. Our findings underscore Qatar's economic vulnerability but also the successful resilience strategy of this tiny state. The coordinated diplomatic efforts of Qatar have been able to fight the economic and political embargo.

Keywords: 2017 Gulf crisis; stock markets; volatility; risk spillovers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-03-10
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Published in ERF 25th Annual Conference, Mar 2019, Kuwait City, Kuwait

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