Moody’s says Qatar outlook negative amid crisis

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The ratings agency Moody’s says it is changed its outlook on Qatar’s economy to negative, largely due to the ongoing diplomatic dispute now engulfing the country.

Moody’s said in a statement early Wednesday that “the likelihood of a prolonged period of uncertainty extending into 2018 has increased and a quick resolution of the dispute is unlikely over the next few months.” Moody’s says that “carries the risk that Qatar’s sovereign credit fundamentals could be negatively affected.”

So far, Moody’s says Qatar’s exports of natural gas have yet to be affected. Those exports make the small country's citizens have the biggest per capita incomes in the world. A quartet of Arab nations says they have received Qatar’s response to their demands for ending a diplomatic crisis gripping the Gulf.

A joint statement issued early Wednesday morning said Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would respond “in a timely manner.” It did not elaborate. Foreign ministers from the four countries are due to meet later Wednesday in Cairo.

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