Abu Dhabi bank boss sees dollar tightening amid oil price low

National Bank of Abu Dhabi CEO Alex Thursby says UAE dirham remains strong and foreign liquidity is holding up
Alex Thursby, CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
By Sarah Townsend
Thu 03 Mar 2016 01:44 PM

The supply of dollars in the UAE is drying up as a result of the low oil price and sluggish economic growth in the region, said the CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Alex Thursby told media in Abu Dhabi this week: “There is a dollar shortage. It’s not a crisis, but it is tightening.”

Thursby noted that government deposits in the UAE fell by more than $13 billion in a year with the drop in crude prices, local media reported – Thursby already said in October that the UAEs’ banking sector had lost AED56 billion ($15 billion) in government deposits since September 2014.

However, he added this week that even with the decline in oil, 2016 is expected to be a “good” year for the bank.

He said the UAE dirham was strong at present and that foreign banks are “extremely” aggressive and that has helped with foreign liquidity coming in.

He was adamant that NBAD would not seek cash injections from other sources. “We are clear that we have to run a business where we self-help,” he told reporters.

“We won't make calls to ask for help and that mean making measured way of growing balance sheet in line with the liquidity that is available in the market."

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