Foreigners pull funds out of Qatar banks as regional row hits impasse
Nonresident deposits drop the most in two years amid diplomatic row
Dubai — Foreign deposits at Qatar’s banks fell the most in almost two years in June as customers withdrew funds following a diplomatic row with four Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia. Nonresident deposits with the 18 lenders in the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporting nation dropped 7.6% to 170.6-billion riyals ($47bn) in June from a month earlier, according to data posted on the Qatar Central Bank’s website on Wednesday. The decline is the biggest since November 2015, the data show. Overall deposits climbed 1.1% in June helped by a jump in domestic funds. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Qatar denies the charge and says the move is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to impose its will on smaller nations in the Gulf. Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has placed billions of dollars in deposits in local banks since then to shore up liquidity and so...