x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Bank governor issues property price warning

The Central Bank Governor warns that a real estate correction could happen, but the country's banks will be fine.

Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi, the Central Bank Governor, warned today that there could be a property price fall in the country. He said that even if property prices fall, the country's banks will be fine. "A real estate correction could happen, but UAE banks are cushioned... the banks are safe," he said. Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, he also said that the liquidity crunch in the banking sector is improving, but the central bank is ready to do more if needed.

"Things are getting better and stabilising," Suweidi told reporters when asked whether the central bank had done enough to cushion the banking sector from the credit crisis. "If there is a need we will do more," he said. "UAE banks are safe." According to the governor, banks have tapped about Dh7.5 billion (US$2bn) of emergency funds to cope with credit market turmoil. "Banks are using only 15 per cent of the central bank's facility now," said Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi. The central bank governor also said the financial crisis could "speed up [Gulf] monetary union and not delay it".

* with Reuters