UAE responds to Qatar claims it has been involved in ‘financial warfare’

The Central Bank of Qatar’s law firm has written a letter to the US Treasury asking it to investigate NBAD Americas, the US subsidiary of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 March 2018
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UAE responds to Qatar claims it has been involved in ‘financial warfare’

LONDON: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has “categorically” rejected claims that the bank was involved in transactions aimed at manipulating the Qatari riyal.
The bank’s denial followed reports that Qatar had asked US regulators to investigate the UAE bank’s US subsidiary, NBAD Americas, claiming that the bank was using ‘bogus’ foreign exchange deals to damage the Qatari economy, according to reports published by Reuters.
“FAB conducts its business in accordance with the highest professional standards and complies with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which it operates. FAB categorically refutes these rumours,” the bank said in a filing to the Abu Dhabi bourse on Monday.
The Abu Dhabi-headquartered FAB was established last year following the merger of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. 
According to Reuters, the law firm representing the Central Bank of Qatar wrote to the US Treasury requesting an investigation into FAB’s subsidiary, according to a letter dated Feb 26. and seen by the news agency.
Lawyers also asked in a separate letter that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigate possible currency manipulation, Reuters said.
The call for an investigation comes as the UAE, as well as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain continue to be embroiled in a diplomatic rift with Qatar that started mid-last year.
The Saudi-led coalition of Arab states imposed an economic boycott on Qatar on June 5, alleging that the country was supporting Islamic extremism in the region and Iran. Qatar has denied these accusations.
Last December, the Central Bank of Qatar announced that it would begin an investigation into attempts to harm the Qatari economy through manipulation of the currency, securities and derivatives markets.
“We know blockading countries and their agents are attempting to manipulate and undermine our currency, securities and derivatives, as part of a coordinated strategy to damage Qatar’s economy.
“We will not stand by while our country is attacked in this manner,” said governor of the bank, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani in statement. 
The Central Bank confirmed that it had asked the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to lead the investigation, according to the same statement.
The New York-headquartered law firm did not immediately respond to Arab News requests for comments. 
The US Treasury and the CFTC has not replied to Arab News requests for comment. The Qatari government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Whitbread set to spin off Costa Coffee

Updated 1 min 29 sec ago
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Whitbread set to spin off Costa Coffee

  • Whitbread confident Britain's biggest coffee chain could succeed on its own.
  • Split expected to take place within the next two years.

Whitbread plc said it would spin off Costa Coffee, Britain’s biggest coffee chain, claiming it could thrive as a separately listed business.
The move leaves Whitbread with its Premier Inn hotels operation and the split is expected to be completed within 24 months.
It said Costa Coffee, the world’s second largest coffee shop chain, had attractive long-term international opportunities.
Chief Executive Alison Brittain said: “Given the progress Whitbread is making, we are confident that both Premier Inn and Costa will soon be businesses of sufficient strength, scale and capability to enable them to thrive as independent companies.”
She said the split would be pursued as fast as practical to optimize value for Whitbread’s shareholders.
The announcement came after Whitbread reported growth in full-year revenue of 6.1 percent to £3.3 million and a 4.5 percent rise in underlying profit before tax to £591 million.