An increase in the foreign assets of the Central Bank and the country’s commercial banks allied with lower liabilities to widen the UAE’s creditor position in the first quarter of 2012, according to official data.
From around Dh92.5 billion at the end of 2011, the net foreign assets of the Central Bank and the country’s 51 banks surged to nearly Dh156 billion at the end of March, their highest level since the end of 2007.
The figures by the Central Bank showed its foreign assets holdings swelled from about Dh142.2 billion at the end of 2011 to Dh150.9 billion at the end of March.
The foreign assets of the UAE’s 23 national banks and 28 foreign units also soared from around Dh248.8 billion to Dh293 billion in the same period.
Their foreign liabilities dipped from about Dh289.8 billion to Dh282.9 billion. The decline turned their debtor position to a creditor status, with the banks’ combined net foreign assets standing at about Dh11 billion at the end of March 2012 compared with –Dh41 billion at the end of 2011.
The decline in foreign liabilities of the banks was mainly in deposits by foreign banks with UAE banks as they dipped from Dh72.3 billion to Dh60.3 billion.
The bulk of the increase in their foreign assets was in deposits with other banks as they surged from about Dh83.8 billion to Dh105.2 billion.
The report showed the banks and Central Bank’s claims on the private sector edged up to around Dh822.4 billion at the end of March from Dh819.2 billion at the end of 2011. Total claims on the government dived to nearly Dh29.9 billion from around Dh44.7 billion in the same period.