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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

UAE bank assets rise 6% to Dh2.85tn led by growth from conventional lenders

Sharia-compliant assets account for a fifth of the total

Conventional deposits were valued at around Dh1.336tn – almost 77 per cent of the total. Reem Mohammed/The National
Conventional deposits were valued at around Dh1.336tn – almost 77 per cent of the total. Reem Mohammed/The National

The UAE’s bank assets rose 6 per cent to Dh2.85 trillion in the first 11 months of this year from the end of December 2017, led by growth in conventional bank assets, latest Central Bank figures showed.

Conventional banking assets rose 6.1 per cent to Dh2.275tn in the 11 eleven months of this year from the end of December 2017, while Islamic bank assets increased 5.3 per cent to Dh579.2 billion during the same period, according to the figures posted on state-run news agency Wam.

Conventional banking assets accounted for more than three-quarters (79.7 per cent) of total banking assets in the country as of end of November, while Sharia-compliant assets accounted for a fifth (20.3 per cent) o the total. There are 60 banks operating in the UAE, and eight of them are Sharia-compliant.

Islamic banking is becoming increasingly popular globally, with demand for Sharia-compliant products and services rising to cater to the Muslim population. Sharia-compliant financial assets were estimated to make up 1 per cent of all financial assets worldwide in 2017, according to Thomson Reuters.

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The UAE is among the countries leading the way, and Dubai this year set a world record for the highest value of sukuk (Islamic bond) listings at Dh217.33bn ($60bn) in one year, according to the Department of Economic Development’s Dubai Economic Report 2018.

Overall, UAE banks are becoming more profitable after a challenging past few years, as renewed economic growth creates greater liquidity in the system.

Total bank loans provided by UAE conventional banks surged to around Dh1.279tn in the first 11 months of 2018, the Central Bank figures showed. Conventional banking loans made up 77.4 per cent of total loans provided by UAE banks, while Sharia-compliant loans amounted to Dh374bn, or 22.6 per cent.

Conventional deposits were valued at around Dh1.336tn – almost 77 per cent of the total – and deposits at Islamic banks reached around Dh402.5bn as of end of November, around 23 per cent of the total banking deposits.

Updated: December 25, 2018 01:31 PM

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