No pressure on UAE banking sector liquidity, says central bank governor

Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri said UAE would continue with the dirham's current peg to the US dollar and follow any interest rate hike
No pressure on UAE banking sector liquidity, says central bank governor
UAE Central Bank Governor, Mubarak Rashid Khamis al-Mansouri. (Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Sun 05 Jun 2016 11:33 AM

The governor of the UAE central bank said on Sunday that he doesn't believe there is any pressure on the Gulf Arab state's currency and that any volatility seen in the forwards market has been limited.

Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri also said that the UAE would continue with the dirham's current peg to the US dollar - currently 3.6725 dirhams to 1 dollar - and that it would also follow any rise in interest rates in the US with an increase in its own key interest rate

The outlook for the country's banking sector is improving after a difficult start to 2016, aided by an improvement in oil prices, which hit the $50 per barrel level for the first time in 2016 on May 26, Mansouri told reporters on the sidelines of an Arab finance ministers event in Abu Dhabi.

The dirham has weakened to a premium of around 60 points against the dollar in the one-year forwards market since last August from around zero previously, as low oil prices have created concern about the state finances and external positions of the Gulf oil exporters.

But the movement has been smaller in dirham forwards than it has been for some other Gulf currencies such as the Saudi Arabian riyal, becuase the UAE is believed to have stronger government finances and a more diversified economy. The dirham has rebounded from around 200 points hit in December and January.

Month-on-month deposit growth in the banking system stalled in January and February because of low oil prices, but expansion has since resumed, according to the latest central bank data.

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