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2020 is shaping up to be a challenging year for the Gulf states. Oil demand is set to contract this quarter, marking the first decline in a decade; Saudi Arabia is considering a break from its four-year oil-production alliance with Russia; Coronavirus has landed hard in the Middle East, and with a higher fatality percentage rate than elsewhere; the IMF just issued a dire warning that the Gulf’s oil-rich countries may run out of the money in less than a decade. These headwinds are likely to weigh on the region’s stock markets, causing them to lag other emerging markets.

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