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UAE Banks Will Gain from US Free-Trade Deal Delay - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat – The likely inability of the UAE and the US to complete a free trade agreement (FTA) during the presidency of George W Bush will give local banks breathing space to strengthen their balance sheets and meet competition more effectively, reported WAM today.

According to a report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an FTA with the US will result in American investment in the UAE banking industry, with US-based banks strengthening their presence here.

FTA is expected to facilitate full operating licenses for large US banks in the UAE, an analyst said. A delay gives the local banks time to consolidate. National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International last week announced a merger that will create the region’s largest financial institution with more than US$45 billion in assets.

Meanwhile, National Bank of Abu Dhabi chief executive said the lender may consider a similar move.

US trade officials said on Friday they would not finish free trade talks by the end of this month, in time for an accord to be ratified during the current administration. Negotiations will resume at a later date, Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative office, said.

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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