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Wed 17 Aug 2016 01:44 PM

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UAE residents said to owe $11,600 on average

Debts rise by 7.5% over the past year with personal loans totalling $117bn, says report

UAE residents said to owe $11,600 on average

UAE residents are carrying average debts of AED42,600 (about $11,600), it has been reported.

Debt levels in the UAE have risen by 7.5 percent over the past year, with the total amount of personal loans reached AED430 billion ($117 billion) during H2 of 2016.

Those figures are up from AED400 billion for the same period in 2015, reported Gulf News, citing National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) data on debt from car loans, credit cards and business loans from June.

Residents said high housing costs and rising education and utility bills remain their biggest concerns, according to a recent survey. Western and Arab expats worried about job losses, while 44 percent of UAE nationals worried about mounting loans.

The loan-to-deposit ratio had climbed steadily to reach 103.4 percent, said NBAD senior economist Alp Eke. “[That] is above the critical level of 100 per cent,” Eke said.

“Lenders are a bit more reluctant and are following stricter lending procedures due to the fact that deposits are not as easily available.”

SMEs “are facing difficulty obtaining loans,” according to Eke, who said: “Lending institutions are more cautious in extending personal loans as economic conditions are uncertain and SMEs are struggling. The public is also cautious as the job market is tightening.