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Qatar Central Bank says reserves ‘more than enough’ to cope with blockade

April 4, 2018 at 9:27 am

Qatar’s central bank in Doha, Qatar [TravelingOtter/Wikipedia]

The Governor of the Central Bank of Qatar, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, has said that the bank’s reserves and financial surpluses are “more than enough” to cope with the blockade indefinitely. He made his comments in an interview with Qatar’s Luail specialist economics newspaper. The bank’s liquidity is stable, he pointed out, and is actually improving with the rise in energy prices.

On 5 June last year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a blockade, alleging that it sponsors terrorism. The government in Doha denies all such charges.

The governor added that Qatar’s international reserves in general and in the Central Bank in particular represent a wall of resistance that stabilises the Qatari Riyal exchange rate against the US dollar. The local currency fluctuated slightly in the first weeks of the blockade, prompting Doha to accuse the countries imposing the blockade of attempting to devalue its currency. According to Sheikh Al-Thani, investigators are still working to uncover the details of “attempts by the blockade countries to manipulate the national currency and sovereign bonds.”

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The total assets of 18 banks operating under the Central Bank’s supervision at the end of last year, including seven branches of foreign banks, amounted to QR1,373.9 billion ($376.5 billion).

The governor assured the public about the country’s financial situation and its money exchangers. “All the money exchange companies have strong financial positions. Their total assets stood at QR1.9 billion ($520 million) in 2017, a 27 per cent increase on the previous year.”