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THE ECONOMY - CENTRAL BANK

Central Bank moves to diversify reserves

Posted on 08/06/2004

The Central Bank of the UAE, which has sold off its gold reserves to book profits last year, has started diversifying its currency reserves by including other currencies in its overall basket. Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the Central Bank Governor, said the bank already holds some euros as part of its reserves and it may consider buying more, along with other currencies, in the future. The UAE dirham has always maintained dollar-heavy currency reserves. This is because the country's main ...  >>MORE

127 hawaladars apply for certificates with Central Bank

Posted on 07/06/2004

The number of applicants to obtain a hawaladar (Hawala brokers) certificate reached 127, of which 107 were issued and the remaining 20 are in the process of completion of requirements, following the Hawaldars registration system issued by the Central Bank on April 1, 2003, Abdulrahim Mohammed Al Awadi, Assistant Executive Director, in charge of AMLSCU (Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit) of the Central Bank said yesterday. Speaking on the organisational structure of the UAE FIU ...  >>MORE

Central Bank reports net earnings rise by Dh30m

Posted on 19/05/2004

An increase in bond investment and gold sales boosted the UAE Central Bank's net earnings by nearly Dh30 million last year despite interest rates being at rock bottom levels. From Dh527.7 million (US$143.7 million) in 2002, the Central Bank's net profits grew to around Dh559.2 million (US$152.3 million) last year, its annual balance sheet showed. But the profits remained far below 2001 earnings of nearly Dh1.11 billion (US$302 million) as a result of a sharp drop in interest revenue. A ...  >>MORE

Central Bank issues five licenses to foreign banks in 2003

Posted on 17/05/2004

The UAE Central Bank issued in 2003 five licenses to foreign banks and financial institutions, bringing to 48 the total number of representative offices of foreign banks in the UAE, according to the bank annual report. ' The number of branches of the 21 national banks rose to 330 by the end of 2003 against 310 by the end of 2002,'the bank said in its annual report released yesterday. The report said money exchanging offices of national banks surged to 37 in 2003 from 35 in 2002, while ...  >>MORE

Central Bank assets rise to over Dh64 billion

Posted on 11/05/2004

Total assets of the UAE Central Bank surged to about Dh64.1 billion by the end of first quarter this year versus Dh54.5 billion by last yea-end, according to the Bank's budget published in the official Gazette yesterday. Deposits, statistics show, rose to Dh45.2 approximately by first quarter this year as against Dh42.3 billion by the end of last year. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM) ...  >>MORE

UAE switches to bonds to offset low interest

Posted on 08/05/2004

The UAE has sharply boosted its investment in international bonds to net higher profits and offset a steep decline in interest rates on deposits. The Central Bank, which has sold all its gold reserves to take advantage of a surge in prices of the precious metal, reported a decline of more than Dh6 billion in its deposits with banks inside and outside the UAE, coupled with a similar growth in its bond investments. At the end of 2002, the Central Bank controlled around Dh48.9 billion (US$13.32 ...  >>MORE

US freezing of ARBIFT assets contrary to IMF regulations

Posted on 13/04/2004

Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of the UAE Central Bank, yesterday lashed out strongly against the freezing of a UAE bank's assets in the US although it was proved by the Bank of England that the Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (ARBIFT) is not a Libyan bank but a UAE bank. "The freezing of ARBIFT's assets was contrary to IMF and international regulations because there has to be a clear basis for freezing of assets. ARBIFT is incorporated in the UAE and its assets shouldn't ...  >>MORE

UAE sells remaining gold reserves for higher price

Posted on 10/04/2004

The UAE has taken advantage of a surge in gold prices late last year to sell its remaining gold reserves, and experts described it as a wise investment measure. The move nearly five months ago was the latest in a series of sales of gold reserves by the Central Bank as part of a strategy intended to diversify its investment portfolio, make more profits, and offset any decline in return from low interest rates. The Central Bank's gold reserves were valued at as high as Dh666 million (US$181.5 ...  >>MORE

UAE's Central Bank's assets rise

Posted on 08/04/2004

Assets of the UAE Central Bank have reached about Dh 60.2 billion at the end of January last year compared to Dh 54.5 billion in December same year. Financial statements by the Bank show that its liabilities stood at Dh 58.8 billion as against Dh 52.9 billion approximately, while the public reserve amounted to Dh 1.2 billion and the private reserve to Dh 60 million. The cash and bank balances within the assets have surged to about Dh 1.9 billion and deposits to Dh 52.2 billion against Dh 42.3 ...  >>MORE

Hawala conference recognises IFT as part of international financial system

Posted on 06/04/2004

The Second International Conference on Hawala concluded here yesterday with the participants recognizing the key role that Hawala and other informal funds transfer (IFT) systems play in facilitating remittances, particularly those of migrant workers. Summarising the deliberations of the two-day conference, the Follow Up committee of the UAE Central Bank, noted that the conference has underlined the significance of the IFT systems as an integral part of the international financial system. A ...  >>MORE

UAE to introduce new law against terror financing

Posted on 06/04/2004

The UAE is poised to introduce a new law to combat the financing of terrorism in response to concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund. The move marks a new initiative in the country's ongoing efforts to curb terrorist financing, Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of the UAE Central bank, said yesterday. The Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) law is being drawn up after the IMF made an assessment of the UAE last month. "The IMF team visited the UAE recently and after meeting ...  >>MORE

UAE Central Bank cracks the whip

Posted on 05/04/2004

The UAE Central Bank has spread its net wide to curb money laundering - freezing some US$3.1 million in funds linked to terrorism and blocking all the cash of groups with dubious links, such as computer outfit SMB. The governor has revealed for the first time the extent of the bank's activities. Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, speaking on the sidelines of an IMF-backed gathering in Abu Dhabi to create a system to police Hawala, said: "The funds frozen by the central bank for cases of financing ...  >>MORE

Central Bank yet to detect suspicious Hawala deals

Posted on 05/04/2004

The UAE Central Bank has yet to receive a single suspicious transaction report from registered hawaladhars since they came under regulatory control in April 2003, an international conference on Hawala was told yesterday. Since the registration process began 118 Hawala operators in the UAE have applied for registration with the Central Bank, of which 101 are currently registered. "The Central Bank receives reports every three months from registered hawaladhars about transfers effected. The ...  >>MORE

UAE efforts to control Hawala have a great success: Al Suweidi

Posted on 04/04/2004

The efforts of the UAE Central Bank to draft and implement simple regulations to bring the third dimension of its financial system - the Hawala system - under regulatory control have achieved tremendous success, said Sultan bin Nasser Al Suweidi, Governor of the UAE Central Bank. "We have been successful in bringing more than one hundred Hawaladars under regulatory control in just 15 months" said Suweidi in his inaugural speech at the Second International Conference on Hawala which opened ...  >>MORE

UAE abides by UN sanctions against terrorist financing

Posted on 04/04/2004

The Governor of the UAE Central Bank, Sultan bin Nasser Al Suweidi, said on Saturday his country abides by all UN sanctions against terrorist financing. Al Suweidi was talking to the press after the inauguration of the 2nd international conference on Hawala here today. In reply to a question on whether the UAE has frozen accounts of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad movements, the Governor said there were no accounts in the UAE belonging to the foregoing organisations. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM) ...  >>MORE

IMF to frame new Hawala guidelines

Posted on 04/04/2004

A new set of guidelines and standards to regulate Hawala or Informal Funds Transfer (IFT) worldwide will be ready shortly to prevent its misuse for money laundering or terrorist financing, an international conference on Hawala was told yesterday. According to World Bank estimates, some $90 billion is remitted through Hawala annually and there is an urgent need to shift money remittances from informal to formal channels. "The IMF will draft new standards and guidelines for implementation in ...  >>MORE

UAE to hold global Hawala conference

Posted on 03/04/2004

The Central Bank of the UAE is holding a three-day international Conference on Hawala from April 3-5th in the capital, to discuss and debate the issue besides drafting the core practices and procedures concerning the regulation of Informal Funds Transfer Systems. Participants from more 60 nations will be attending the conference which will be inaugurated by Governor of Central Bank of UAE, Chairman of the UAE National Anti-Money Laundering Committee Conference who will deliver his opening ...  >>MORE

UAE considering readmitting foreign banks gradually

Posted on 17/03/2004

The Central Bank says it is studying two options to implement a recent decision to let foreign banks into the UAE after a ban of more than 15 years. The UAE said yesterday it was considering readmitting foreign banks into its lucrative market gradually by allowing first banks from the GCC and other Arab countries. The Central Bank said it was studying two options to implement a recent decision to let foreign banks back into the UAE after a ban of more than 15 years. Central Bank Governor, ...  >>MORE

UAE rules out GCC central bank

Posted on 13/03/2004

Gulf states are pushing ahead with plans to set up a EU-style monetary union but have no intention of creating a common central bank similar to the Frankfurt-based ECB, the UAE Central Bank governor said yesterday. Sultan bin Nasser Al Suweidi said the UAE and its partners in the six-nation GCC, which are marching towards a monetary union in 2010 after enforcing a landmark customs union last year, are currently involved in discussions on the timetable of the monetary project but have yet to ...  >>MORE

Central Bank will not set up separate credit bureau

Posted on 10/03/2004

The UAE Central Bank has ruled out setting up a separate national credit bureau, it was revealed yesterday. The UAE is considering requests by new foreign banks to open branches after the country joined the WTO and promised to liberalise its financial sector. The Central Bank confirmed it has received applications from many local and foreign banks to open branches and a decision will be taken soon. "Yes, we have received applications from local and foreign banks to open branches in the ...  >>MORE

Central Bank deposits at Dh41.61b

Posted on 26/01/2004

Deposits with the Central Bank tailed Dh41.61 billion while total assets touched Dh54.366 billion by the end of November 2003, according to statistics put out by the Financial Control Department at the bank. Current account on demand totalled Dh455.62 million while bonds retained up to maturity date stood at Dh11.347 billion, advances and loans at Dh50 million, fixed assets at Dh30.9 million and other assets at Dh871.85 million. The bank's liabilities totalled Dh52.806 billion. As for ...  >>MORE

Dirham fell 13pc against major currencies

Posted on 19/01/2004

The UAE dirham depreciated against major currencies of the world on account of the depreciation of the US dollar to which the exchange rate of the dirham is pegged, said the economic bulletin released by the Central Bank for the year 2003. Compared to its average rate at the end of the year 2002, the dirham depreciated during the first half of 2003 by 13.7 per cent against the Euro, 6.3 per cent against the Pound Sterling, 12.9 per cent against the Swiss Franc, 4.8 per cent against the ...  >>MORE

Central Bank slashes money transfer commission between UAE and GCC

Posted on 13/01/2004

The UAE Central Bank yesterday announced reduction of commission on money transfer services between the UAE and other GCC states as a step to guarantee inter-GCC trade and investment flow. During a meeting here, the Bank's board chaired by Mohammed Eid Al Muraikhi, Board Chairman, and attended by Sultan Nasir Al Suweidi, Governor of the Central Bank, also reviewed the Bank's 2003 initial financial data, the balance sheet and the profit/loss accounts. The board also discussed some regulatory ...  >>MORE

Central Bank in deal to upgrade UAESWITCH

Posted on 06/01/2004

The UAE Central Bank yesterday announced that it has signed a contract with S2 Systems to upgrade the UAESWITCH. S2 Systems have a regional base in Dubai and have installations in more than 60 countries, including the installation of the UAESWITCH system in 1995, according to a report in "Khaleej Times.” The upgrade will change the UAESWITCH mode of operation and will add Point Of Sale (POS) services, which will enable the creation of a national POS network. The UAESWITCH will be able to ...  >>MORE

Central Bank views proposal to allow accounts in dollar, euro

Posted on 21/12/2003

The Central Bank of the UAE has reviewed a report on the project aimed at providing banks, exchange houses and some other financial institutions operating in the UAE with facility of opening accounts in US dollars and Euro. The apex bank said in a statement on Saturday the review is being done in order to enable these institutions to provide efficient services to nationals and residents of country are reasonable rates. The board of directors of the central bank held its eighth meeting for ...  >>MORE

UAE to pursue plans to open up financial sector

Posted on 08/12/2003

The UAE pledged yesterday to push ahead with plans to open up its banking sector and other financial services in line with an agreement by the World Trade Organisation. The Central Bank also said it was stepping up surveillance of banks and insurance companies to prevent money laundering and ensure clean financial operations. Sultan bin Naser Al Suweidi, the Central Bank Governor, told an economic seminar in Abu Dhabi that the UAE now has one of the biggest and most advanced banking sectors in ...  >>MORE

Exchanges open accounts with Central Bank

Posted on 01/12/2003

In a radical change of practice the big money exchange houses in the UAE will shortly begin depositing their huge daily cash collections into a UAE Central Bank account rather than with commercial banks. The new initiative, which could allay international fears about the transparency of some transactions, resulted from a meeting yesterday between Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Central Bank governor, and representatives of exchange houses. Significantly, the move will allow closer monitoring ...  >>MORE

Central Bank offloads gold reserves

Posted on 01/11/2003

The UAE Central Bank reduced its gold reserves by half recently, bringing the value of its current gold reserves from Dh333 million to Dh166 million. The UAE Central Bank statistics show that while the value of gold reserves was at Dh333 million until April, it has come down to Dh166 million in May and continued at the same level during June as well. However, an IMF statistics on its website show that UAE held 12.3 tonnes of gold as of September 2003 - the same level which it held since 1999, ...  >>MORE

UAE defends Hawala system

Posted on 18/10/2003

The UAE defended today the legitimacy of the Hawala brokers (money transfer agents) and denied that the system had been used in financing terrorist acts and money-laundering transactions. 'The Hawala system is internationally recognised and no one can dare to cast doubt over it. It is recognised by 62 countries of the world including the G7 whose financial transactions control 80 per cent of the world financial order,' said UAE's Central Bank Governor Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi. He told ...  >>MORE

Dh500 note most attractive

Posted on 23/09/2003

The Central Bank of the UAE has announced that the Institute has chosen the UAE banknote of Dh500 denomination as the most attractive and excellent quality banknote for International Monetary Studies. It is a great achievement for UAE as its currency note was selected amongst the various others issued in the Asian region. Moreover, the Central bank of the UAE was awarded The Gold Certificate of Merit. The UAE banknotes uses the best types of ink and latest security features to avoid any ...  >>MORE

UAE Central Bank issues certificates to Hawala brokers

Posted on 14/09/2003

The UAE Central Bank has issued 55 certificates to Hawala brokers (money transfer agents), following the legalisation of the Hawala system earlier last year. The decision is line with the resolutions of the "Abu Dhabi Declaration” on Hawala, which adopted among other resolutions, a decision to legalise the Hawala system to ensure that alternative money transfer systems are not used and abused by money launderers and terrorists. In a report issued yesterday ahead of the Annual Meetings of the ...  >>MORE

More foreign banks may open branches

Posted on 13/09/2003

The UAE yesterday reversed a long-standing policy and declared its readiness to allow the operation of more foreign banks on a reciprocal basis. The decision by the Central Bank came just a week before the meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Dubai and reflects the country's ongoing trend to tear down investment barriers and open up its economy. The Central Bank also said it was considering allowing foreign banks operating in the UAE to open more branches but ...  >>MORE

UAE to implement BASEL II accord

Posted on 09/09/2003

The UAE Central Bank announced yesterday it would adopt the risk assessment mechanism as of early next year to meet requirements of the New Basel Capital Accord, known as Basel II, which will go into force as of 2007. Sultan Al Suweidi, Central Bank Governor said final touches were being added to the system in order to enable banks implement the Basel accord more effectively. The UAE's move came days before the September 17-23 annual meetings of the boards of governors of the World Bank ...  >>MORE

Central Bank reports sharp fall in 2002 net

Posted on 10/08/2003

A steep decline in interest rates on deposits worldwide sharply depressed the net profits of the UAE's Central Bank last year although it has started to switch to the more profitable securities and bonds, according to its balance sheet. From around Dh1.11 billion (US$302 million), the Central Bank's net earnings dived to nearly Dh527.7 million (US$143.7 million) last year, said the report. A breakdown showed the decline was caused mainly by a sharp drop in interest revenues, which plunged ...  >>MORE

Shareholders equity peaks at Dh41.9b

Posted on 19/07/2003

UAE banks are pushing ahead with plans to expand their capital base in line with instructions by the Central Bank to strengthen their financial position and meet international standards on adequacy, according to official figures. The shareholders' equity of the country's 47 banks, covering their capital and general reserves, peaked at Dh41.9 billion (US$11.4 billion) at the end of March compared with around Dh41 billion (US$11.17 billion) at the end of last year. The figures by the Central ...  >>MORE

Money supply expands by Dh4 billion: CB report

Posted on 13/07/2003

Money supply expanded by Dh. 4.15 billion (8.8 %) at the end of the first quarter of 2003, reaching Dh. 51.21 billion against Dh. 47.05 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2002, according a Central Bank report. The report said a review of the components of money supply indicates that monetary deposits increased by Dh. 2.93 billion to reach Dh. 38.05 billion and currency with the public rose by Dh. 1.22 billion to reach Dh. 13.16 billion. As for private domestic liquidity, it ...  >>MORE

Central Bank cuts rates on CDs

Posted on 04/07/2003

The UAE Central Bank yesterday announced it has reduced interest rates on Certificates of Deposit (CDs) effective June 26. According to major UAE dailies, which reported the story in their issues of today, it acted to reflect inter-bank interest rates on U.S. dollar deposits in international markets. In a statement the Central Bank said the reduction in interest rates on CDs will basically result in lowering of the cost of financing economic activity in the country, particularly investment ...  >>MORE

Give money back to customers: Central Bank

Posted on 24/06/2003

The UAE Central Bank has ordered all banks, which fell victim to the Automated Teller Machine, ATM swindling case in the country last month, leading to a loss of about Dh1.6 million to refund money to their respective customers who suffered money loss in the scam. According to a press release from the Central Bank issued yesterday, the call was made during a board meeting yesterday, presided over by the Board Chairman, Mohammed Eid Al Mureikhi and Sultan bin Nasir Al Suweidi, Governor of the ...  >>MORE

Banks lose Dh1.5 million in ATM fraud

Posted on 05/06/2003

The UAE Central Bank yesterday said that Banks operating in the UAE had lost not more than Dh1.5 million as a result of an electronic fraud. In a statement issued following a board meeting, the Bank said that the Board reviewed a memorandum relating to the electronic fraud recently carried out through ATMs of some banks operating in the UAE. The Board directed for the implementation of appropriate procedures at banks, in order to prevent such type of incidents in the future and to minimize the ...  >>MORE

Central Bank may resume issuing bank licenses

Posted on 01/06/2003

The UAE Central Bank is considering issuing new banking licenses, which have remained practically suspended for more than two decades. The governor of the UAE Central Bank, Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi, said the Central Bank board would take up this matter for consideration soon. Even though the UAE Central Bank never said the banking licenses have been frozen, the sector has not seen any new entrants for some time now. Though Dubai Bank is a new player in the market, coming into existence last ...  >>MORE

Central Bank assets rise in last quarter of 2002

Posted on 05/05/2003

The total assets/liabilities of the Central Bank increased by Dh5.02 billion (10 per cent) to equal Dh55.27 billion at the end of December 2002, against Dh50.25 billion at the end of September 2002. The bank's newly released quarterly bulletin for the period October to December 2002, showed that on the assets side, held-to-maturity securities reached Dh5.51 billion at the end of the quarter under study. Likewise, current and call accounts increased by Dh8 million to reach Dh228 million. ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Central Bank moves to diversify reserves


127 hawaladars apply for certificates with Central Bank


Central Bank reports net earnings rise by Dh30m


Central Bank issues five licenses to foreign banks in 2003


Central Bank assets rise to over Dh64 billion


UAE switches to bonds to offset low interest


US freezing of ARBIFT assets contrary to IMF regulations


UAE sells remaining gold reserves for higher price


UAE's Central Bank's assets rise


Hawala conference recognises IFT as part of international financial system


UAE to introduce new law against terror financing


UAE Central Bank cracks the whip


Central Bank yet to detect suspicious Hawala deals


UAE efforts to control Hawala have a great success: Al Suweidi


UAE abides by UN sanctions against terrorist financing


IMF to frame new Hawala guidelines


UAE to hold global Hawala conference


UAE considering readmitting foreign banks gradually


UAE rules out GCC central bank


Central Bank will not set up separate credit bureau


Central Bank deposits at Dh41.61b


Dirham fell 13pc against major currencies


Central Bank slashes money transfer commission between UAE and GCC


Central Bank in deal to upgrade UAESWITCH


Central Bank views proposal to allow accounts in dollar, euro


UAE to pursue plans to open up financial sector


Exchanges open accounts with Central Bank


Central Bank offloads gold reserves


UAE defends Hawala system


Dh500 note most attractive


UAE Central Bank issues certificates to Hawala brokers


More foreign banks may open branches


UAE to implement BASEL II accord


Central Bank reports sharp fall in 2002 net


Shareholders equity peaks at Dh41.9b


Money supply expands by Dh4 billion: CB report


Central Bank cuts rates on CDs


Give money back to customers: Central Bank


Banks lose Dh1.5 million in ATM fraud


Central Bank may resume issuing bank licenses


Central Bank assets rise in last quarter of 2002