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UAE Banks have $3 Bln Exposure to Saudi Firms - Paper - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – Banks in the United Arab Emirates face at least $3 billion in potential losses from two troubled Saudi family conglomerates, newspaper Emirates Business reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

The banks’ exposure goes beyond syndicated loans, the paper said, and includes bilateral financing arrangements built up over the years preceding the market crash of 2008, the paper said.

Separately, newspaper The National said 88 banks globally face $7.4 billion in exposure to the two firms, citing banking documents.

Topping the list of banks that gave syndicated loans to the two groups are BNP Paribas, with $522.5 million, and Citigroup, with $515 million, The National said.

Neither regulators nor the troubled borrowers have made public the magnitude of Saudi’s credit problems, which revolve around defaults and debt restructurings at the Saad Group and Algosaibi group.

The $3 billion exposure alone for the UAE, home to the biggest financial industry in the Gulf, is the highest tally yet for a single country and, if confirmed, would threaten the profitability of the sector in 2009.

The $7.4 billion total pricetag for the Saudi credit fiasco is the latest of several reports citing banking documents that to measure the magnitude of the problem, with reports ranging from around $6 billion to $10 billion.

The National said more than 10 UAE banks were involved in syndicated loans worth $767.5 million to the two groups.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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