UAE banks eye growth boost on VAT, Expo 2020, higher oil prices

UAE Banks Federation chief delivers upbeat message for 2018 on back of strong economic momentum in the country
UAE banks eye growth boost on VAT, Expo 2020, higher oil prices
AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation.
By Sam Bridge
Wed 29 Aug 2018 02:05 PM

The UAE’s banking sector remained strong and robust in 2017 with an uptick in growth on the back of strong economic momentum in the country, according to a new report by the UAE Banks Federation (UBF).

Driven by a diversified economy, higher government spending, and growth in trade, the UAE economy expanded by 1.5 percent in 2017, reflecting a sustained increase in investments and consumer confidence, its annual report noted.

It added that the ongoing rebound in the global economy, steady recovery in oil prices, improved fiscal outlook and higher deposits from the government further stimulated the growth in the UAE banking sector.

AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, said in the report: “Banks were well capitalized and comfortably liquid, reporting a healthy growth in deposits and a moderating growth in credit and improvement on a number of performance metrics.

“Going forward, 2018 seems to be an exciting year for the UAE in general and the banking sector in particular. Anticipated higher oil prices, VAT revenues, further diversification of the economy and the build-up to Expo 2020 will lead to a better government fiscal position, higher investments and spending to further drive the economy.

"On the back of improved economy, UAE banking sector will have better growth across deposits and credits.” added Al Ghurair.

The report also highlights the key findings of UBF’s annual Trust Index survey which showed that trust levels remained high with 93 percent of UAE retail banking customers indicating that they are satisfied with their banks.

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