UAE studying new rules for bank lending against shares

Central bank's move follows wild swings in the value of shares of construction giant Arabtec earlier this year
UAE studying new rules for bank lending against shares
By Reuters
Tue 09 Dec 2014 01:28 PM

The United Arab Emirates central bank is looking at proposals for new rules covering bank loans against shares, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"The central bank board is studying new regulations for credit against shares," Saif al-Shamsi, assistant governor for monetary policy and financial stability, told reporters on the sidelines of a financial conference.

He did not elaborate. In July, the Securities and Commodities Authority met with the central bank, the economy ministry and the Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges to discuss tightening supervision of the bourses.

This followed wild swings in the shares of Arabtec, then the Dubai market's most heavily traded stock, which more than tripled to levels far above fair value estimates and then lost more than two-thirds of their value, dragging down the entire market.

The violence of the rise and fall of Arabtec shares was partly due to the fact that some buyers leveraged themselves through bank loans or other means, traders said.

After soaring as much as 60 percent earlier this year, the Dubai stock index is now falling sharply again in response to the drop of global oil prices, hurting investors who bought shares on leverage. The index is down 29 percent from this year's peak.

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