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
0

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.


Oil prices mixed as producers release more supply in the market

Updated 49 min 48 sec ago
0

Oil prices mixed as producers release more supply in the market

  • The US Energy Information Administration also reported US oil production reached a record 11 million barrels per day
  • US crude stocks rose by 5.8 million barrels last week, compared with a forecast of a decline of 3.6 million barrels

TOKYO: Oil prices were mixed on Thursday as the market struggled to digest signs of strong gasoline demand in the US, the world’s biggest consumer of the fuel, with a statement from oil producers that they are putting more crude on the market.
Brent crude futures fell 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $72.79 a barrel at 0401 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $68.82.
Both benchmarks rose by 1 percent on Wednesday after inventory data from the US Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday US gasoline stockpiles fell along with supplies of distillate fuels. Motor fuel demand also rose from the week before and was up from a year earlier.
However, the EIA also reported US oil production reached a record 11 million barrels per day (bpd). The US has added nearly 1 million bpd in production since November, thanks to rapid increases in shale drilling.
Also, a meeting of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producer monitoring their supply pact reported on Wednesday that compliance with the agreement has declined, meaning more oil is available to the market.
The bullish tone sparked by the gasoline data is unlikely to last, said Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at brokerage OANDA.
“President Trump is doing everything in his power to lower gasoline prices,” he said.
“With Russia quick to offer the President a supply olive branch and Saudi Arabia mainly in his back pocket when it comes to increasing their supply, its challenging to see (the) gasoline numbers turning the bearish market’s tide,” he said.
Gasoline inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, dropped by 371,000 barrels, the EIA said on Wednesday.
A Reuters poll taken before the data release had forecast that gasoline stocks would be unchanged and distillate stockpiles would show a build of around 900,000 barrels.
A sharp jump in crude oil inventories in the US also added to the bearish tone in the market.
US crude stocks rose by 5.8 million barrels last week, compared with a forecast of a decline of 3.6 million barrels.
Oil markets have fallen over the last week as Saudi Arabia and other members OPEC member and Russia have increased production and as some supply disruptions have eased.
OPEC and non-OPEC’s compliance with oil output curbs has declined to around 120 percent in June from 147 percent in May, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.