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Qatar orders arrest of finance minister over misuse of funds

Qatar’s prosecutor ordered the arrest of Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al-Emadi to question him over an alleged abuse of power and misuse of public funds, state-run Qatar News Agency reported.

Al Emadi was named finance minister a day after Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took over leadership of the country in June 2013, and has held the role since. The prosecutor has launched an investigation, QNA said on Thursday. No further details were immediately available.

Al Emadi had been a stalwart of the country’s financial system, helping transform Qatar National Bank from a local champion into the region’s biggest lender as its chief executive from 2007 to 2013. He currently serves as chairman of the bank’s board, is president of the executive board of Qatar Airways, and is also on the board of Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

More recently, amid speculation that Al-Emadi had fallen out of favor, he was replaced as chairman of the Qatar Financial Centre — a platform through which most foreign financial firms working in the country are registered and among agencies that encourage foreign investment.

Qatar’s dollar bonds held on to most of their earlier gains following the news, with the yield on the security due 2050 down about 5 basis points to 3.4%. The country’s stock market has closed for the weekend.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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