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UAE banks have region’s highest proportion of government shareholding

The UAE has the region’s largest banking system, and the government owns a much larger chunk of its country's banks than others in the region.

May 27, 2010 10:09 by

The Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) says UAE banks have the highest proportion of government shareholding and the lowest contribution from foreign shareholders among Gulf countries, Emirates Business reported Thursday.

By the close of last year, the government’s share in the country’s banks amounted to 42 percent of the sector, reportedly the highest proportion in the GCC region according to the report. Foreign ownership in its national banks was estimated at only 0.2 percent.

Comparatively, government ownership in regional banks stood at 20 percent in Qatar, 18 percent in Saudi Arabia, 12 percent in Kuwait, 10 percent in Oman, and nine percent in Bahrain the report said.

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