Qatar Accuses UAE Bank of Waging Financial Warfare Against its Economy

UAE’s First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has rejected claims that it was involved in business deals aimed at manipulating the Qatari riyal. According to the reports published by Reuters, the denial from the bank followed reports that Qatar has asked US regulators to find out all the things going on at FAB’s US subsidiary, NBAD Americas, claiming that the bank was using bogus foreign exchange deals to damage the economy of Qatar.

However, FAB said in a filing to the Abu Dhabi bourse on Monday that it manages and directs its businesses in conformity with the highest professional standards and it complies with laws and regulations at all times.

According to the reports published by Reuters, a law firm representing the Central Bank of Qatar recently wrote to the US Treasury asking it to investigate FAB’s US subsidiary, NBAD Americas. This information comes from a letter dated Feb.26 and seen by the news agency.

Reuters also reported that lawyers representing the Qatari government also asked the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a separate letter to investigate possible currency manipulation by the Emiratis.

The call for an investigation comes as the UAE, Saudi Arabia as well as Egypt and Bahrain continue their diplomatic spat with Qatar.  The diplomatic wrangling between Qatar and the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states began last year as a result of the coalition’s accusations that Qatar was supporting Islamic extremism in the region.

The Central Bank of Qatar last December announced that it would start an investigation into attempts to harm the country’s economy through the manipulation of its currency, securities and derivative markets.

The governor of Qatar’s apex bank, Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al Thani said in a statement then that they were aware of attempts made by countries leading a blockade against it with the aim of manipulating and making their currencies, securities and derivatives less effective. This it said, was part of a coordinated attempt to damage the economy of Qatar. Al Thani has vowed that his country will not stand by while it is being damaged in this way.

According to a statement, the Central Bank confirmed that it has asked the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton and Garrison to lead and manage the investigation. The New York-headquartered law firm did not automatically respond to Arab News requests for comments.

In addition, the US Treasury and the CFTC has not answered to requests for comment made by Arab News. The government of Qatar did not also respond immediately to similar requests for comments.

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