Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Tunisia are at particular risk of witnessing a downward rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P), due to domestic political turmoil and weakened economic growth prospects, as reported by business monitor Audi Saradar Group. The ratings agency expects several Middle Eastern and north African (MENA) countries’ creditworthiness to come under increasing pressure in the coming months amid concerns over the future of the eurozone.

As MENA sovereigns face relatively high political risk and low levels of monetary flexibility, Audi Saradar Group reported that the macroeconomic uncertainty in Europe could result in negative ramifications for the countries’ creditworthiness, especially if Greece exits the eurozone. The MENA region remains heavily reliant on European bank funding, holding up to $60bn-worth of refinanced risk.


On a more positive note, S&P said that Abu Dhabi, rated AA with a stable outlook, is considered by investors be to be a less risky proposition due to its substantial oil reserves.