Here’s what’s happened since last week’s updates: Saudi continues to politicise Hajj, places obstacles to Qatar's pilgrims -- GCC Crisis Updates Week 109
Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the significant progress in Qatar’s dispute settlement proceedings against Saudi Arabia in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but warns that firm action must be taken quickly against 'beoutQ' and Arabsat before the Saudi-based pirate operation and Riyadh-headquartered satellite provider destroy the global sports and entertainment market, reports QNA.
The WTO dispute settlement proceedings relate to Saudi failures to protect intellectual property rights consistent with the WTOs Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), in connection with the operation of the Saudi Arabia-based sophisticated broadcast pirate named beoutQ. With the support of Saudi authorities, beoutQ systematically pirates content owned by or licensed to a Qatari-headquartered company beIN Media Group LLP and broadcasts it in Saudi Arabia and beyond, via Saudi-based Arabsats satellites.
beoutQs theft of global sport has continued unabated during the WTO proceedings, with FIFA, Confederation of African Football (CAF), and South Americas football ruling body CONMEBOL being the latest rights holders to be impacted.
The beoutQ pirate content is widely available in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), distributed through the sale of beoutQ subscriptions and set-top decoder boxes at numerous retail outlets across Saudi Arabia. Further, such content is picked up by "pirates of pirates" and spread throughout the world via the Internet. These actions are not only harming beIN, but are having severe financial consequences for rights holders and other broadcasters all across the world.
His Highness (H.H.) The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Acting United States Secretary of Defence, Mark, T. Esper, held a meeting at the US Department of Defence (Pentagon) on Monday evening. At the beginning of the meeting, the Acting Secretary of Defence welcomed H.H. the Amir, and praised the relations between Qatar and the United States, saying that it is stronger than ever before, reported QNA.
H.H. The Amir commended the strategic role played by the Al Udeid Air Base and the support for the American military presence. His Excellency added that the State of Qatar’s readiness to host the US forces for a long time symbolises the close ties between the two countries, stressing the importance of these forces to support stability in the Middle East. He also said that the two countries have strong strategic relations and will work together to reduce tension in the region, which has been experiencing difficult periods for several years. H. H. the Amir said that the region’s issues will find ways to ease the escalation if all work closely together.
Investors to Qatar are upbeat about GCC credit market and see just limited risks due to geopolitical escalation in the region, reports Satish Kanady (The Peninsula Qatar). GCC bonds are still cheap as compared to similar-rated peers, published the Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofAML) its report on the GCC debt capital market and the blockade against Qatar blockade is not seen a matter of concern. It has, in fact, influenced the investments various investors can make positively.
“We expect Iran tensions to remain elevated, although an actual conflict seems unlikely. Spreads are wide to EM peers, but this is offset by high issuance, dependence on oil, as well as said geopolitical risks,” BofAML’s Head of EEMEA Fixed Income Strategy Andrew MacFarlane and their Head of Emerging Market Cross-Asset Strategy ad Economics for EMEA, David Hauner, said yesterday.
What are your thoughts on these latest developments in the ongoing GCC Crisis? Drop us a line and tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share this article.
Cover image credit: Al Sharq
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