UAE banking sector expansion accelerates

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-25 9:11:07

The latest United Arab Emirates (UAE) banking figures released on Wednesday by the central bank for the month of May showed banking indicators advancing in nearly all categories amid a booming national economy.

According to the latest figures released late Tuesday, total bank assets rose 4.6 percent since January to reach 1.866 trillion Dirham (508.86 billion US dollars) by the end of May, and bank deposits edged up 6.7 percent in the same period to 1.246 trillion Dirham (339.79 billion dollars).

The figures reveal that lenders granted more loans to retail clients. Loans and advances increased 2.9 percent to hit 1.13 trillion Dirham (308 billion dollars), of which 23.87 percent were personal loans.

However, non-resident deposits fell 5.7 percent since January. Total investments done by banks surged 8.7 percent to hit 168.7 billion Dirham (46 billion dollars).

Earlier in the week, the UAE's biggest lender, Emirates NBD, reported a 40.37 percent year-on-year rise in half-year net profits, amounting to 1.808 billion Dirham (493.09 million dollars) .

With 23 local banks and 28 foreign banks, the UAE has one of the highest banking densities in the region. In the first six months, the Gulf state's economy has witnessed a strong surge amid rising oil prices, trade, tourism and real estate activity.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that the UAE's real economy would grow 3.6 percent in 2013 and 3.7 percent next year.

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