Qatar’s central bank told commercial banks on Thursday that they would have to obey new restrictions on their open positions in foreign currency by April 1.
In April 2016, the central bank had said it planned to introduce a ceiling on total foreign currency positions – surplus or deficit – of 30 per cent of each bank’s capital and reserves.
On Thursday, the central bank said the rule, which would “limit the risks of foreign currency open positions”, would also apply to Qatari banks’ foreign branches. But it will not apply at the level of banks’ subsidiaries, or to hedging transactions.
Under previous regulations, lenders’ foreign currency assets were required to be at least equal to their liabilities.