Britain’s Lloyds bank says it has stopped trading Qatari riyals

Britain's Lloyds bank says it has stopped trading Qatari riyals. (REUTERS)
Updated 30 June 2017

Britain’s Lloyds bank says it has stopped trading Qatari riyals

LONDON: Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group said on Friday that it has stopped trading Qatari riyals and that the currency is no longer available for sale or buy-back at its high-street banks.
A spokeswoman for the bank said a “third-party supplier” that carries out its foreign exchange service had ceased trading in the currency from June 21.
“This currency is no longer available for sale or buy-back across our high street banks including Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax,” the spokeswoman said.
Qatar’s central bank said on Friday it will guarantee all exchange transactions for customers inside and outside Qatar without delay, adding that all banks and foreign exchange companies are committed to trading the riyal as usual
The statement came after media reports said some exchange companies have stopped buying the Qatari riyal, which the central bank called “baseless.”
Exchange company Travelex said on Thursday it has resumed purchasing the Qatari riyal globally after a brief suspension “due to business challenges.”
Economic sanctions and poor liquidity have created chaos in the foreign exchange market for Qatari riyals, with the currency trading far below its peg to the US dollar.
The riyal has been increasingly volatile in the spot market since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of backing terrorism.
The Bank of England and British lenders including Barclays , HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland were not immediately available for comment.


IMF experts visit Lebanon amid worsening economic crisis

Updated 20 February 2020

IMF experts visit Lebanon amid worsening economic crisis

  • IMF team will provide broad technical advice
  • Lebanon has not requested IMF financial assistance

BEIRUT: A team of IMF experts met Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday at the start of a visit to provide Lebanon with advice on tackling a deepening financial and economic crisis, an official Lebanese source said.

The IMF has said the team will visit until Feb. 23 and provide broad technical advice. Lebanon has not requested financial assistance from the Fund.

The long-brewing economic crisis spiraled last year as capital flows into the country slowed and protests erupted against the ruling elite over decades of corruption and bad governance.

Diab’s government, which took office last month, must decide what to do about upcoming debt payments, notably a $1.2 billion dollar-denominated sovereign bond due on March 9.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun meanwhile said on Thursday measures would be taken to hold to account all those who contributed to Lebanon’s financial crisis through illegal actions be they transfers abroad, manipulation of Eurobonds or other acts.

“There is information that we are still in need of with regards to the banking situation. There are measures that we will take to hold to account all who participated in bringing the crisis to where it is,” Aoun said, according to his Twitter account.

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One of Lebanon’s most influential politicians, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, said on Wednesday that debt restructuring was the best solution for looming maturities.

Lebanon will on Friday review proposals from firms bidding to give it financial and legal advice on its options, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The government aims to take a quick decision on who to appoint, the source said.

So far, firms bidding to be Lebanon’s legal adviser are Dechert, Cleary Gottlieb, and White and Case, the source said.

Lebanon has issued requests for proposals to seven firms to provide it with financial advice.

The government on Wednesday formed a committee tasked with preparing an economic recovery plan that includes ministers, government officials, a central bank representative and economists, according to a copy of a decree seen by Reuters.