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Sunday 18 - 1 - 2015


 18/01/2015

Gulf News

The al etihad credit bureau, which was officially launched in September, is the result of many months of planning and data collection. It brings together, for the very first time in one place, two years’ worth of information about the credit history and repayment record of each individual with a bank account in the UAE. The UAE Banks Federation has played an active role in this process through the direct involvement of its special working group with the bureau, both in encouraging its member banks to cooperate with the Credit Bureau, and in discussing and resolving issues that have emerged just before initial phase of the project reached completion. The word on the street is that a credit bureau benefits only the banks. It does benefit them, that is true; but it benefits customers and the economy even more.

Khaleej Times

The GCC countries’ budget for 2015 received considerable attention from investors across the world, after all, the oil prices had collapsed to half by the end of last year. Three of the six GCC countries the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman unveiled their national budget for 2015 early this year. It was not surprising to see two of these countries running into deficit. The UAE, however, was an exception, revealing a balanced budget for 2015. The UAE, in particular Dubai, looked comfortable reporting higher spending and a budget surplus. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, reported marginal increase in spending with a deficit. The UAE Federal Cabinet approved a balanced budget of $13.4 billion for 2015, which was 6.5 per cent higher from the last year, with no deficit or introduction of any new taxes. In fact, the budget indicated increased income and public spending, suggesting the UAE’s economy remained unaffected by the declining oil prices.

The National

GCC bond markets performed remarkably last year, when returns were competitive and relatively uncorrelated to other fixed-income sectors and traditional asset classes. Arabian Gulf bonds exhibited important diversification benefits for global and emerging market portfolios. This year, too, we think these attributes will persist. The Mena Broad Index, which significantly outperformed the Emerging Markets Bond Index Global Diversified and the Citigroup World Government Bond Index in the final quarter, is a case in point. However, the continuing fall in oil prices poses obvious issues for many GCC countries. Over the past decade, oil producers across the Middle East have used their oil-income windfall to assuage rising political activism with an almost four-fold boost to public spending. If oil prices were to stabilise at recent levels, and planned spending were left unchanged, GCC oil producers probably would start to experience fiscal and, in the case of Oman, current-account deficits shortly. UAE officials asserted that financial surpluses amassed in recent years would continue to support expenditure on development projects and pointed out that the UAE budget was the least oil-dependent of any GCC state.

Khaleej Times

Dubai — Dubai inflation increased to 3.37 per cent in 2014 compared to 1.31 per cent in 2013 mainly because of rising rents, food prices and education cost, according to the latest data released by Dubai Statistics Centre. In addition to the full year data, the Centre also released December data that showed inflation remained flat at 4.2 per cent year on year. Housing and utility cost, which accounts for almost 44 per cent of consumer expenses, surged 7.7 per cent from a year earlier and 0.8 per cent from the previous month. Last year, food and beverages group prices increased to 2.68 per cent compared to 2.55 per cent in 2013. The group accounts for more than 11 per cent of the total expense of consumers. The group recorded highest increase in the prices of fish and seafood by 15 per cent, followed by an increase in the prices of meat by 3.37 per cent, then an increase by 2.21 per cent in the prices of Food products.


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