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Qatar initiates legal procedures against First Abu Dhabi Bank in New York

General view of an Abu Dhabi Bank in Dubai, UAE on 4 January 2017 [Tom Dulat/Getty Images]
General view of an Abu Dhabi Bank in Dubai, UAE on 4 January 2017 [Tom Dulat/Getty Images]

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) announced yesterday that it has begun legal proceedings in New York to force the First Abu Dhabi Bank to pay a $55 million in financial penalties ordered by a Qatari court, Reuters reported.

Last year, the Qatari regulator fined the First Abu Dhabi Bank. the largest Emirati bank. 200 million riyals ($55 million) for obstructing an ongoing investigation into possible market manipulation, a charge denied by the bank.

"The First Abu Dhabi Bank has failed to make payment against this final judgment rendered by the Civil and Commercial Court (QFC Court) in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) thereby requiring the QFCRA to take steps to enforce the court's judgment under well-recognised measures for international enforcement of money judgments," the Qatari regulator said in a statement.

In 2018, Qatar said the First Abu Dhabi Bank made "bogus" foreign exchange deals to harm Qatar's economy after the UAE and other Arab countries boycotted Qatar in 2017.

READ: UN expert urges countries on lifting Qatari blockade

In March 2018, the authority launched an investigation into alleged manipulation of the Qatari riyal, Qatari government securities and related financial instruments.

Reuters said the First Abu Dhabi Bank, which had previously denied allegations of market manipulation, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last year, the UAE bank closed its only branch in Qatar after the Qatari authority imposed restrictions on it that would prevent it from doing business.

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