DUBAI,(Reuters) – Banks in the United Arab Emirates saw provisioning levels for non-performing loans rise 2.4 percent in March compared to the previous month to reach their highest level since at least December 2008, data showed.
UAE banks’ problem debt provisions stood at 34.4 billion dirhams ($9.37 billion) compared to 33.6 billion at the end of February, the central bank’s UAE banking indicators showed on Wednesday.
The domestic banking sector has been grappling with the fallout of the global economic crisis and a local property market downturn, as well as the restructuring of Dubai’s flagship conglomerate Dubai World.
Banks’ combined loans climbed to 1022.0 billion dirhams at the end of March, from 1017.5 billion in February. Bank deposits rose to 967.0 billion dirhams, from 958.3 billion at the end of the previous month.