Members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council need to tackle the financial crisis individually, not as a group, a leading Arab central banker said on Monday at a meeting to discuss monetary union.
Sultan Nasser Al Suweidi, governor of the central bank of the UAE, said GCC members would discuss a new timetable for a common currency, but that the policy response from each member to the financial crisis had been different.
"Each GCC country has to tackle his own financial crisis according to his own individual need. There should not be any unified decision for all states," Suweidi told reporters at a regular gathering of GCC central bank governors.
The GCC last month gave its first official acknowledgement that issuing common notes and coins will take longer than the 2010 target agreed on eight years ago.
Principal decisions such as the location of any Gulf central bank and when it may start operating remain undecided.
The financial crisis is expected to push growth at several GCC states to zero and to force some to contract as the sharp fall in oil prices cuts state income from energy exports. Policy responses among GCC members have varied widely.
When asked about setting a new timeline at the meeting, Suweidi said, "We will have to discuss: it's not only one country's decision.
"The issues that each country has to respond to are different (and) every country has taken its own crisis measures."
In recognition of how the crisis has hit the financial sector, Oman's central bank executive president Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali said the region's banks needed to find ways to cope with the problems caused by the crisis.
"It is no secret that the GCC banks as well as the regulatory bank bodies face many challenges," Zadjali said. "Banks face challenges in the scale of risks and in the ways of reducing and mitigating these risks." (Reuters)For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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