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Report: Abu Dhabi officials boycotting banks with Qatari investors

Individual officials in Abu Dhabi have launched an ad hoc boycott of Western banks with stakes owned by Qatari investors, the Financial Times reported Aug. 9.

Affected lenders include Barclays Plc, in which Qatari investors have a 6% stake, and Credit Suisse Group AG, of which the Qatar Investment Authority's direct investment business owns 5% with purchase rights over a further 13% stake, according to the report.

The boycott will not be publicly acknowledged, one banker working with Abu Dhabi authorities said, while another banker said various UAE entities are approaching the issue differently depending on the official making the decision. Officials have reportedly told bankers that lenders with Qatari ties will not be given mandates for business in Abu Dhabi, which the paper noted has plans for a number of IPOs, mergers and fundraising activities.

It comes after the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar over alleged ties to terrorism, which some officials have said could be widened to firms doing business with the country, the FT noted. Western officials have warned their allies against such a step.

There is no evidence that Saudi Arabia plans to make any similar moves with respect to lenders with Qatari shareholders, bankers told the FT.