How Do the Crises of Falling Oil Prices and COVID-19 Affect Economic Sectors in the Rentier Economies? Evidence from the GCC CountriesHazem Al Samman, Erhan Akkaş
This study analyses the impacts of unprecedented falling oil prices and the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 on the stock markets of GCC countries – countries considered as natural resources-based rentier economies. To this end, the research uses daily data for 295 companies under the categories of services, industrial, and financial sectors in GCC countries from January 1, 2020, to February 23, 2021. The analysis was conducted over two phases. The first phase extended from January 1, 2020, to July 30, 2020, while the second phase extended from August 01, 2020, to February 23, 2021. The research utilised 18 random effect models in each phase to capture the impact of the oil price crisis and COVID-19 outbreak on each economic sector in each of the GCC countries. This study’s findings reveal that the decline in oil prices and the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic were strong in the first phase, while this impact diminished in most economic sectors in the Gulf countries in the second phase. However, the GCC countries have not been impacted equally by the crisis of falling oil prices and the COVID-19 outbreak. The results show that the hardest-hit countries are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, respectively, while the least impacted countries are Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Furthermore, the sector-wise analysis results reveal that the industrial sector in Saudi Arabia is the sector most affected by the oil price crisis, and the financial sector in Saudi Arabia is the sector most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in the GCC countries.