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Sun 25 Jan 2009 09:09 AM

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ADCB will still lend for infrastructure projects

One of the UAE's largest banks will continue to lend for government backed schemes.  

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), one of the UAE's largest banks, will continue lending for infrastructure projects despite the global economic slowdown, it was reported in Sunday.

CEO of the bank, Eirvin Knox, said that the bank would continue to sanction loans for infrastructure and government backed projects, as well as to small to medium enterprises and retail businesses.

Speaking in an interview with UAE daily, Gulf News, he said: "We haven't stopped lending. We will continue to support infrastructure and priority projects of the government of Abu Dhabi."

The bank would lend to other sectors with discretion, Knox added: "We have to be selective.”  However, the global economic slowdown, which has resulted in a downturn in the UAE’s own economy, especially in the real estate sector, would see a reduction in lending to this sector, he added.

His comments come two weeks after Arabian Business reported that the Emirates NBD had hiked the minimum salary limit for expatriates seeking a mortgage by more than 200 percent and doubled the threshold for locals.

The bank is now only considering expatriate customers for a home loan if they earn a minimum of 25,000 dirhams ($6,800) a month, up from a previous limit of 8,000 dirhams in November last year.

A spokesman for the bank refused to comment, but added: “These [lending policies] are regularly changed according to market conditions.”

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