Arun ends Qatar investments following recommendation earlier this year
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As part of recommendations from the council’s audit and governance committee from February this year, the full council noted a report stating it removed the Qatar National Bank and the First Bank of Abu Dhabi from its counterparties list.
This means the council will not do any further business with the banks, only maintaining existing investments with them, which used to stand at £7 million with Qatar National Bank and £1 million with First Bank of Abu Dhabi.
These investments have now concluded and have been, or will be, re-invested elsewhere, according to council officers.
‘Handelsbanken Plc’ a Swedish bank, and ‘Natwest Markets Plc’ the debt financing subsidiary of Natwest, will replace the two state-owned banks on the counterparties list for the council, in hopes of ‘diversification’ and investment options according to council officers.
In the council’s financial statements, it noted a profit from interest receipts from investments as £460,918, from the first quarter of 2023/24 ending on June 30.
The council was found as one of 28 local authorities investing in Qatari banks via an FOI led investigation by The Guardian last year, during the 2022 FIFA world cup hosted in the country’s capital, Doha.
Qatar has been criticised for human rights abuses against migrant workers, and its treatment of women and the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the investigation, ADC had deposited around £90 million over five years, the fourth largest contribution out of the 28 authorities, with the LDRS previously revealing £9 million deposited over 2021.