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The UAE Banks Fed­er­a­tion has helped re­struc­ture and ne­go­ti­ate some Dh­s7bn ($1.9bn) of out­stand­ing loans un­der plans to help com­pa­nies strug­gling with debt an­nounced in March.

The fed­er­a­tion, which rep­re­sents 49 banks in the coun­try, stepped in with its own mea­sures to help avoid de­faults af­ter the slow­ing econ­omy led to a ris­ing num­bers of busi­ness own­ers flee­ing the coun­try with un­paid debts.

In Novem­ber 2015, Ab­du­lAziz Al Ghu­rair, chair­man of the fed­er­a­tion, said busi­ness own­ers had fled the coun­try, where un­paid debts carry a jail sen­tence, with out­stand­ing loans of $1.4bn.

How­ever, the re­cently ap­proved bankrup­tcy law, ex­pected to be in­tro­duced at the be­gin­ning of next year, will al­low com­pany ex­ec­u­tives to avoid a prison sen­tence and re­struc­ture their firm in the event of a de­fault.

The Banks Fed­er­a­tion out­lined the progress of its de­fault sys­tem, dubbed ‘Modus Operandi’, say­ing it had helped more than 1,700 small and medium en­ter­prises and cor­po­rates and praised the in­tro­duc­tion of the new law.

“We com­mend and wel­come the leg­is­la­tion of the bankrup­tcy law, which the govern­ment has recog­nised as a pre-req­ui­site for the coun­try’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and an es­sen­tial tool to main­tain the well­be­ing of the busi­ness and eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment,” said Al Ghu­rair. 1. Ap­ple launches iPhone 7, 7-plus; UAE launch and prices re­vealed

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