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Mon 14 Nov 2016 12:45 PM

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UAE’s economic growth to improve in 2017, says central bank chief

Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri said central bank had lending facilities which banks could use if they needed liquidity

UAE’s economic growth to improve in 2017, says central bank chief
UAE Central Bank Governor, Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri. (Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

The UAE’s central bank governor said on Monday that he expected economic growth to edge up to about 2.4 percent next year from an estimated 2.2 percent this year, helped by oil prices at higher levels than they were for much of this year.

Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an economic conference, also said he hoped for bank lending growth in the mid- to high single digits next year, similar to this year's growth.

Gross loans and advances in the banking system rose 5.9 percent from a year earlier in September, according to the latest central bank data.

Asked about the rise of UAE money market rates to four-year highs, the result of tightening liquidity due to low oil prices, Mansouri noted money rates were rising elsewhere in the world and that UAE banks were continuing to fulfil their corporate lending function.

He also said the central bank had lending facilities which banks could use if they needed liquidity.

The UAE has been looking at passing a law that would let the federal government issue bonds. Mansouri said there was no urgency for the government to sell bonds but that it might eventually issue a nominal amount to help build a yield curve in UAE markets. He did not say when the law might be passed.

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