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Qatar Central Bank says operating normally despite crisis

DOHA: Qatar’s Central Bank said on Monday banking transactions at home and abroad were continuing normally despite the diplomatic crisis which has seen several Gulf countries sever ties with the emirate.

In a statement released on the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA), Central Bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani dismissed concerns over liquidity levels.

“The banking and banking transactions and procedures in the State of Qatar continue to be normal, both at the level of local financial transactions and between the Qatari banking sector and foreign banks,” the statement read.

It added that the governor “stressed that the liquidity levels in the Qatari banking sector are good and meet all customer requirements”.

Doha is seeking to reassure customers as it is gripped by the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years.

Qatar has found itself isolated following a decision last week by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and others to cut ties with Doha over its support for “terrorism”, a charge the emirate vehemently rejects.

Saudi Arabia on June 5 sealed Qatar’s only land border, and the country has been banned from using the airspace of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatari citizens have been ordered to leave the two countries within two weeks.

The UAE has also ordered its banks to stop dealing with major Qatari lenders.

Rumours have circulated in Doha that some exchanges have been hit by a shortage of dollars, potentially affecting remittances by Qatar’s migrant workforce, estimated at more than two million people.

The World Bank estimates that expat workers in Qatar sent home $11.4 billion (10.1 billion euros) in 2015.

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