The departure of hundreds of thousands of expatriate workers from the Gulf due to Covid-19 job losses is having an immediate economic impact on the region.
The reduction in disposable income is knocking sales just as the retail and hospitality sectors are trying to recover from the lockdowns, while falling demand is having a deflationary effect on salaries, rents, property prices and school fees.
At the same time, governments are stepping up efforts to increase local representation in the workforce by replacing expatriate public sector workers with nationals.
The August 2020 issue of MEED Business Review takes an in-depth look at GCC policymakers' renewed focus on workforce localisation, and discusses the challenges raised by the acceleration of these policies amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Our banking sector report examines how Gulf banks are faring after a bruising first half of 2020. According to Nitish Bhojnagarwala, vice president/senior credit officer at Moody’s, there is little scope for optimism, even if many Gulf banks went into the crisis with healthy capital and liquidity metrics.
Lenders are now looking ahead to 2021 as the year when a semblance of normality will return, and developing recovery strategies.
This month's exclusive 20-page Market Focus, meanwhile, offers a comprehensive look at the Levant region, where unresolved conflict and regional currency collapses loom larger than the effects of Covid-19. Read the latest analysis on Jordan, Lebanon and Syria here.
Other must-read sections in the August 2020 edition of MEED Business Review include:
> BOARD REPORT: Monthly Mena news roundup
> LEADERSHIP: Covid-19 turns spotlight on localisation in the GCC
> MEED INSIGHT: Preparing for post-Covid-19 construction> BUSINESS OUTLOOK: Finance, oil and gas, construction, power and water contracts
We hope you find the August issue of MEED Business Review informative.
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