Qatar 'has enough cash to survive'

Central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah Saoud al-Thani said the US$340 billion in reserves will help Qatar survive.
Central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah Saoud al-Thani said the US$340 billion in reserves will help Qatar survive.

DOHA • It has been more than a month since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt separately announced on June 5 that they were breaking off diplomatic relations with Qatar.

The four countries, accusing Doha of supporting "extremism and terrorism", meddling in their internal affairs and cosying up to their rival Iran, have also imposed a sweeping air, sea and land blockade. Qatar, with its deep pockets, appears to have circumvented the embargo relatively well.

The four-nation bloc issued a list of 13 demands on Qatar, including closing broadcast giant Al Jazeera, downgrading ties with Shi'ite-majority Iran and shutting a Turkish military base in the emirate. Qatar has denied all the charges.

Home to around two million people, of which 300,000 are citizens, Qatar has a gross domestic product of US$129,726 (S$177,390) per capita, reported Global Finance magazine.

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Its central bank governor, Sheikh Abdullah Saoud al-Thani, has said the country has US$340 billion in reserves. "We have enough cash to (withstand) any... kind of shock," he told the CNBC news channel.

He also told Reuters the stability of the Qatari riyal, pegged to the US dollar, will "continue for the future".

 
 
 

Qatar admits that preparing for the Fifa 2022 World Cup has become a bit harder, but it still plans to build eight football venues, 60,000 new hotel rooms and finish a metro system for Doha, at a combined cost of more than US$150 billion, Arab News reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2017, with the headline 'Qatar 'has enough cash to survive''. Print Edition | Subscribe