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Wed 13 Jun 2012 10:26 AM

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UAE economic minister urges Spanish investment

Minister says Spanish firms could counter financial crisis by pouring money into UAE

UAE economic minister urges Spanish investment
UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri.

UAE Minister of Economy Sultan
Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri has urged Spanish businesses to invest in the UAE and
bolster trade relations between the two countries in a bid to counter the
financial crisis facing the indebted Iberian country, WAM reported on Wednesday.

In remarks at a business lunch
organised at the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, the minister urged
Spain to face the crisis with more optimism.

Addressing 100 Spanish
businessmen, he highlighted incentives provided by the UAE's economy to
exporting companies, such as the Gulf state's lack of income tax.

Trade between the UAE and Spain
has increased significantly over the past years, but it now could be doubled or
tripled, the news agency's report claimed.

Al-Mansouri’s comments come just
days after euro zone finance ministers agreed to lend Spain up to €100bn
(US$125bn) to shore up its toxic banks.

After a two-and-a-1/2-hour
conference call of the 17 finance ministers, which several sources described as
heated, the Eurogroup and Madrid said the value of the bailout would be
sufficiently large to banish any doubts.

"The loan amount must cover
estimated capital requirements with an additional safety margin, estimated as
summing up to €100bn in total," a Eurogroup statement said.

A bailout for Spain's banks,
beset by bad debts since a property bubble burst, would make it the fourth
country to seek assistance since Europe's debt crisis began.

With the rescue of Greece,
Ireland, Portugal and now Spain, the EU and IMF have now committed around €500bn
to finance European bailouts.

The Spanish government has
already spent €15bn bailing out small regional savings banks that lent
to property developers. Spain's biggest failed bank, Bankia, will
cost €23.5bn to rescue and its shareholders have been wiped out.