Buoyed by bumper 2018 revenues, Qatar is tentatively returning to checkbook diplomacy despite the ongoing embargo by its neighbors. This strategy will further rile neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Qatar announced earlier this month that it plans to buy $500mn worth of bonds from debt-ridden Lebanon. The move will not go down well in Riyadh which sees Lebanon as firmly within its sphere of influence and Qatar as an upstart rival. It highlights the lack of pressure Qatar feels to repair its...