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DUBAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) - The Qatar central bank’s international reserves and foreign currency liquidity rose slightly in October, official data showed on Monday, as capital outflows caused by sanctions imposed by other Arab states appeared to ease.
The reserves and liquidity, a measure of the central bank’s ability to support the riyal currency, rose to $36.1 billion in October from $35.6 billion in September.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha in June, prompting banks and investors from those countries to withdraw billions of dollars from Qatar.
This has put the central bank’s reserves under pressure. International reserves and foreign currency liquidity stood at $45.8 billion in May, before the diplomatic crisis erupted.
Capital outflows were relatively heavy in the initial months after the sanctions were imposed but appear to have eased in the last few months because the other Arab states have now pulled out most of their deposits, loans and portfolio investments from Qatar, leaving relatively little money left to withdraw.
Official data released last week showed foreign customers’ deposits at banks in Qatar fell by only 5.1 billion riyals ($1.4 billion) from the previous month in October, to 137.7 billion riyals. The decline was slower than falls of 6.2 billion riyals in September, 8.2 billion in August, 13.4 billion in July and 14.0 billion in June. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Toby Chopra)