Sanctions will not harm Qatari economy: al-Emadi
June 12 2017 09:51 PM
HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi
HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi

Doha

Qatar can easily defend its economy and currency against sanctions by other Arab states, HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi told CNBC television in an interview broadcast on Monday.
He said that the countries that had imposed sanctions on Qatar would also lose money because of the damage to business in the region.
"A lot of people think we're the only ones to lose in this ... If we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also," al-Emadi was quoted by aljazeera.com.
The sanctions have disrupted flows of imports and other materials into Qatar and caused many foreign banks to scale back their business with the country.
But al-Emadi said the energy sector and economy of the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter were essentially operating as normal and that there had not been a serious impact on bank operations and supplies of food or other goods.
"We are business as usual, and we are open for business," he said.
"We know that we might have one or two challenges here and there, but this is a country that is very resilient. We have the assets and security that we need."
Qatar can import goods from the Far East or Europe and it will respond to the crisis by diversifying its economy even more, he told CNBC.
The Qatari riyal has come under pressure in the spot and forward foreign exchange markets, but al-Emadi said neither this nor a drop in the local stock market was cause for concern.
"Our reserves and investment funds are more than 250% of gross domestic product, so I don't think there is any reason that people need to be concerned about what's happening or any speculation on the Qatari riyal."
Asked whether Qatar might need to raise money by selling off stakes in large Western companies held by its sovereign wealth fund, al-Emadi indicated this was not on the cards at present.
"We are extremely comfortable with our positions, our investments and liquidity in our systems," he said.
Prices of Qatar's international bonds have dropped sharply, but in answer to another question, al-Emadi said he saw no need for the government to step into the market and buy those bonds to support prices.
"There was reaction on the market [in the aftermath of the June 5 announcements] which was understandable," al-Emadi said.
"If you take action of this magnitude, that's normal. We've seen a rebound coming back,” al-Emadi was quoted as saying by aljazeera.com.



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