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Qatar First Bank sells stake in Amanat Holdings as Qatar-UAE ties unwind

Astro AD Cayman was previously listed as owning 5% of Amanat

Gulf News

DUBAI: Qatar First Bank (QFB) said on Tuesday that one of its units had sold its stake in United Arab Emirates healthcare and education investment firm Amanat Holdings, the latest sign of an unwinding of business ties between Qatar and the UAE.

The stake was sold by QFB’s subsidiary Astro AD Cayman Ltd for Dh150 million ($40.8 million). QFB did not disclose the size of the stake or the buyer, but said the deal value did not exceed 10 per cent of the bank’s total assets.

Astro AD Cayman was previously listed as owning 5 per cent of Amanat, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport links with Doha on June 5, alleging that Qatar funded terrorism, which Doha vehemently denies.

Since then, business ties between Qatar and its neighbours have been unwinding gradually. In August, shipping group Qatar Navigation said it was shifting its regional hub from Dubai to the Omani port of Sohar because direct shipments between Jebel Ali and Doha were no longer possible.

In September, Qatar Insurance said it was closing its branch in Abu Dhabi because authorities there had not renewed its licence, while Doha Bank cut around 10 jobs in the UAE and planned to put some staff in the region on unpaid leave.

— Reuters

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