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Mon 1 Jun 2009 07:36 AM

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GCC bank location to remain Riyadh - Saudi minister

No change on bank location despite UAE withdrawal from union over issue.

The location of the GCC central bank is to remain Riyadh despite the UAE’s pull out of the monetary union programme over the decision, according to a Saudi minister on Sunday.

Ebrahim Al Assaf, the Saudi Finance Minister, said in an interview with Reuters that his country and three other Gulf states would proceed with the monetary union plan, without UAE and Oman – that withdrew in 2007.

Asked if the location of the central bank was open to renegotiation, Al Assaf said: "No. There is a decision that has been taken by our leaders."

His comments came the day after the Saudi foreign minister met with UAE president Sheikh Khalifa in Abu Dhabi.

However, it was not clear whether Prince Saud Al Faisal discussed the single currency from which the UAE withdrew two weeks ago claiming it would make more sense to locate the central bank in the Emirates.

According to WAM news agency the two discussed “the fraternal relations and ways of bolstering them in all fields, as well as a number of regional and international issues of common interest”.

Last week the UAE Central Bank governor ruled out any “negotiations” over the issue, or a move to rejoin the monetary union.

But days later Saudi’s King Abdullah suggested that the problem would be resolved and the UAE would once again be part of the plans.    

The four remaining countries, Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait are due to meet on June 7 to sign the monetary union agreement, the GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah said at a meeting of GCC finance ministers in Muscat on Saturday.

Madhulal Bhatia 10 years ago

It is really sad that U.A.E. is out of Monetary Union for single Gulf currency. It would definitely be good to have Central Bank for the monetary union in U.A.E. as it is hub for the financial activities. Further the image could have been much more when U.A.E. presence is there. We hope that authorities will reconsider the factors and reconsider the move before it is too late. Good luck and thank you.

Shehryar Iqbal 10 years ago

It looks like 8 year kids fighting over a toy. I cant understand one thing in this part of the world that God has given so much of resources , wealth and so many hard working people but why it is so difficult to make rules or shall i say to '' make up your mind'' in regards with several issues , the above heading being one of them. I guess the Doha forum was correct after all where Tim Sebastian had a debate whether the Arab countries have unity and the majrity percentage of audience ''admitted'' No they dont.Well at least a positive sign that People are not living in a state of Denial. Or may be is it Ego.......well if thats the case i dont even want to comment further.

hasna 10 years ago

the decision to go forward without uae is a good one. the emirates shouldnot be allowed to grab everything it needs. end of the day, they themselves are the losers