UAE banks turn to ATFP for financing

UAE banks are tapping the Arab Trade Financing Programme (ATFP) for loans due to lower costs, the programme's chief said yesterday.

The ATFP has loaned $640 million (Dh2.34bn) to banks in the UAE, a large part made in the last two to three years, Jassim Al Mannai, chief executive of ATFP said.

The ATFP, set up in 1989 as a subsidiary of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), finances foreign trade of Arab countries.

"Our cost is much lower than others. We lend at Libor (London interbank offered rate) with a small spread to cover administrative expenses, but overall our costs are lower than the market rate," Mannai, who is also chairman of the AMF, told reporters without elaborating.

Banks in the UAE have been grappling for funds as liquidity dried up due to the financial downturn since 2008.

 

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