UAE deposits $250m in Central Bank of Jordan

Funding from Gulf state separate to US$1.25bn earmarked as part of US$5bn GCC fund
Flag of Jordan
By Massoud A. Derhally
Thu 03 Jan 2013 10:44 AM

The UAE transferred US$250m to the Central Bank of Jordan on
December 25, the Gulf state's ambassador to the kingdom said.  

The funds are separate from the US$1.25bn earmarked by the UAE
for Jordan as part of the US$5bn that GCC states agreed to grant the kingdom over
a five year period, Jordan's state-run Petra News Agency reported, citing Ambassador
Abdullah Al Ameri. UAE investments in Jordan are in finance, tourism, industry,
agriculture and education.

The kingdom's debt to GDP ratio has increased to about 72
percent of GDP in the first nine months of 2012 up from 64 percent the year
before, according to official figures from the ministry of finance. Foreign
currency reserves at the central bank declined 14.1 percent in 2011 to US$10.5bn
from US$12.2bn the year before, according to official figures from the central
bank.

Jordan's economy is forecast to expand 3.5 percent this year
from an estimated 3 percent in 2012, while inflation is projected to fall to
3.9 percent from 4.5 percent last year, according to the International Monetary
Fund.

"The country has faced challenges during the year from
the disruption of the flow of natural gas, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and
an acceleration of influx of refugees," the Washington-based organisation
said in a report late last month. "Combined with higher oil and food
prices and a shortfall in grants, this has put further pressure on the
country’s economy. Nonetheless, growth is expected to increase."

“Despite this challenging environment, the authorities have
been implementing sound macroeconomic policies aimed at reducing fiscal and
external imbalances in a socially acceptable way," the IMF added. The
removal of general subsidies on all fuel products except liquefied petroleum
gas on November 14 "was an important step,'' the organisation said, adding
the measure helped reduce costs and risks to the budget from fluctuations in
oil prices.  

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