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UAE’s reserves enough for 15 years at current spending levels: NBAD chief

Oil prices expected to rebound in final quarter of 2017 to roughly $65 to $80 a barrel

The current financial reserves of the United Arab Emirates are enough to finance public projects and continue current levels of public expenditure for the next ten to 15 years provided oil prices maintain current levels, a top banking executive predicts.

Oil prices are expected to rebound in the final quarter of 2017 and surge to roughly $65 to $80 a barrel, says Alex Thursby, chief executive officer of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi Group.

In an interview with Al Ittihad, Thursby assures that the local UAE banks will continue to offer financing products to all economic sectors, but liquidity will relatively go down.

He adds that the NBAD forecasts that the UAE economy will grow by 2.5 to three per cent next year despite low oil prices, while financing by banks will expand at a slower pace.

Thursby explains that loans and other finance products will continue to grow by three to four per cent in 2016, but lending costs will surge. He expects that banks will set aside additional funds for doubtful loans.

($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)