Arab banks’ assets exceed GDP
BUBAI: Arab banks are expected to gain nearly $300 billion in assets at the end of 2010 to surpass the region's gross domestic product and this should prompt them to expand their role in the domestic economy, the top Arab banker has said.
The combined assets of the nearly 470 Arab banks could peak at over $2.5 trillion at the end of this year compared with nearly $2.2 trillion at the end of 2009, said Adnan Yousuf, Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB).
Addressing a banking conference in Beirut this week, Yousuf said deposits with the banks as well as their capital are also projected to sharply grow by the end of this year as banks pull out of the clutches of the 2008 global fiscal distress. In his address, sent by UAB to Emirates 24/7, Yousuf said the surge in the banks' resources should prompt them to play a greater role in domestic development, urging them to form strategic alliances to create big entities.
"Arab banks are today prepared to play a bigger part on the global level...they should also expand their presence in the local and regional market given their massive financial resources which qualify them to play that role," he said.
His figures showed the combined assets of the Arab banks are expected to top $2.5 trillion at the end of this year, nearly $300 billion above their 2009 level.
"Forecasts show that the Arab GDP will be around $two trillion this year...this means that the Arab banking sector will outsize the Arab economy," he said. His figures also showed the collective deposits with Arab banks could exceed $1.5 trillion by the end of 2010 compared with around $1.16 trillion. -PB News