Qatar Makes Sudden Accounting Change Ahead of Bond Sale

Peace and Freedom

An abrupt accounting change that nearly doubled Qatar’s hard currency assets is drawing investor scrutiny as the nation prepares for a major bond sale.
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By Matt Wirz
The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 21, 2017 8:00 a.m. ET

An abrupt accounting change that nearly doubled Qatar’s hard currency assets this month is drawing investor scrutiny as the nation prepares for a major bond sale.

Qatar’s central bank said it made the shift based on 2016 technical guidance from the International Monetary Fund. Senior IMF officials were surprised when the Middle East nation implemented the change almost a year later with no warning but a six-word announcement, according to people familiar with the matter.

The confusion comes as Qatar is scrambling to shore up its finances after Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations imposed an economic blockade on the country in June. The embargo was in retaliation for Qatar’s ties with…

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