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Qatar starts legal proceedings against key UAE Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank in Court

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) said on Tuesday it has started legal proceedings in New York to compel First Abu Dhabi Bank to pay $55 million in financial penalty imposed by a Qatari court.

The Qatari regulator last year had fined United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank 200 million riyals ($55 million) for obstructing an ongoing investigation into suspected market manipulation, a charge FAB denied.

“FAB has failed to make payment against this final judgment rendered by the Civil and Commercial Court (QFC Court) in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) thereby requiring the QFCRA to take steps to enforce the court’s judgment under well-recognised measures for international enforcement of money judgments,” the Qatari regulator said in a statement.

Qatar in 2018 alleged that First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, made “bogus” foreign exchange deals to harm Qatar’s economy after the UAE and other Arab states began a boycott of Qatar in 2017.

QFCRA began an investigation in March 2018 into the suspected manipulation of the Qatari riyal, Qatari government securities and related financial instruments.

FAB, which has in the past denied market manipulation allegations, was not immediately available for a comment.

The UAE lender closed its sole branch in Qatar last year after the regulator placed restrictions on the bank that would prohibit it from undertaking new business.

Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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