DUBAI,(Reuters) – The rate of bank lending growth in the United Arab Emirates is “reasonable,” Central Bank Governor Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi said on Friday.
“Bank lending is going at a reasonable rate. The rate has been close to 3.5 percent, which is reasonable under the circumstances,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a financial conference.
He described the central bank’s monetary policy as “good”, when asked the possibility of shifts in monetary policy, without elaborating.
The 2008 global financial crisis exposed bank lending excesses in the oil-reliant UAE economy, bursting a property bubble and triggering a $25 billion debt restructuring of Dubai World in 2010.
However, most UAE banks have large capital cushions by international standards and they have been relatively unscathed by the euro zone debt crisis because they have only minor exposure to Europe.
Despite some recovery, bank lending remains sluggish in the UAE. Provisions against bad loans rose to a record 55.3 billion dirhams ($15.1 billion) in December, up 25 percent from a year ago, central bank data show.