In a directive that includes letters of credit (L/Cs), Saudi Arabia's central bank has ordered the country's lenders not to increase their trade finance exposure to any Qatari clients.

The order follows Riyadh's accusation that Qatar is a supporter of terrorist groups.

Confidential information

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) has ordered banks not to write L/C business or process any payments denominated in Qatari riyals, according to bankers who asked media not to be identified because the information is supposed to be confidential.

SAMA's order also requires banks not to increase exposures to Qatari treasury investments, loans and all types of trade finance facilities.


Saudi Arabia, alongside the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, has blocked transport routes with Qatar and accuses the country of destabilising the region by supporting proxies for Shiite Iran, the Sunni militants of al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic State group.

Other banks in all four countries have also begun cutting their exposure to Qatar.

Saudi banks have been requested to share information about their exposure to Qatar through equities, bonds and interbank funds according to local media reports.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or any of the other partners in DC-PRO.