Qatar sues banks from UAE, Luxembourg and Saudi over Riyal Manipulation

Doha has filed a number of lawsuits both in London and New York directed against three banks for conspiring to undermine its currency and bonds. As per the cases, the banks are from the United Arab Emirates, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Samba Bank of Saudi and Havilland Banque in Luxembourg as per an official statement by the Qatar government.

FAB is the biggest lender in the UAE and Samba one of the greatest banks of Saudi Arabia. Qatar has alleged that Banque Havilland has tried to weaken its currency, the riyal by submission of fraudulent quotes to various foreign-exchange platforms in New York deliberately intending to disrupt the indices and other markets particularly where the important Qatari assets are based.

The statement of the government did not mention any details about the accusations against the FAB and the Samba Bank and only mentioned that they had been engaged in financial market manipulation. Banque Havilland however, denied all the accusations levied by Qatar stating, “an independent forensic investigation on the matter led by external legal counsel. The investigation has established that the Bank did not engage in any transaction contemplated in the related articles published at the time”. There have been no comments by the FAB and the Samba Bank so far. It is not clear how much damages are being sought by Qatar. There has been an economic and diplomatic blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain ever since 2017. The four nations have alleged that Qatar has been involved in the backing of terrorist activities and groups in addition to pushing for closer ties with the Republic of Iran which is an arch-rival of Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has denied all the allegations as completely baseless and has also rejected a whole list of demands which have been issued by the quartet as a prerequisite for lifting the blockade. It has denounced the whole attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Qatar. All the recent lawsuits which have been filed are after an investigation which has been launched by Qatar into manipulation by the market and also said, that there could be more legal action has to be taken as the probe continues. Qatar is of view that the action of boycotting Qatar is an attempt by the nations to destabilise the currency and financial markets of Doha and hence undermine confidence in Qatar’s economy.

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