COLOMBO, June 6 Some Sri Lankan banks stopped
buying Qatar Riyal on Tuesday, saying their
counterpart banks in Singapore advised them not to accept the
currency a day after the Arab world's biggest powers cut ties
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on
Monday severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated
move, accusing Doha of supporting Islamist militants and Iran.
Dealers at four local private banks told Reuters they have
stopped buying Qatar Riyal.
"Our counter-party in Singapore has asked us not to buy
Qatar Riyal," a senior currency dealer at a bank told Reuters.
A dealer from a state bank said traders were waiting for the
central bank to give guidance about the Qatar Riyal and the bank
had been buying the Middle Eastern currency at 39.09 Sri Lankan
rupee compared to Monday's close of 39.40.
"There is an adjustment in the Qatar Riyal after some banks
have stopped buying," he said.
The Sri Lankan central bank in a statement denied it had
informed banks "not to accept Qatari Riyals" as reported by some
A top central bank official said the central bank will
discuss the Qatar Riyal at a meeting on Tuesday.
Officials at the island nation's main Bandaranaike
International Airport told Reuters passengers had complained
that banks at the airport had stopped buying Qatar Riyal.
About 50,000 to 60,000 Sri Lankans each year over the past
two years have departed the country to work in Qatar, central
bank data showed. Qatar has provided the most number of jobs for
Sri Lankan expatriates after Saudi Arabia in the last two years.
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Bill