Loan transfers, internet companies and property bubbles
The Central Bank’s decision to ban the transfer of loans for borrowers by lenders for three months, has been challenged by the UAE Banks Federation. The move, which was implemented in May, was put in place so that the Central Bank could conduct a study into the amounts of loans taken out by UAE nationals. Experts say the move was to curb bank customers taking advantage of introductory offers by taking loans and credit cards to refinance existing debt. They also believe it has been made to protect people from borrowing too heavily. As the UAE’s economy has strengthened, the number of personal loans has risen by 3.1% during the first quarter of 2013. Read more here.
The UAE’s property prices rose 21.1 % in the first quarter of 2013 – the third highest global property price rise, only behind Hong Kong (28%) and China (23 %). The news follows an announcement by RERA’s COE, Marwan Bin Ghulaita, that ‘flipping’ property does not have a negative effect on the market, and that property companies are essentially regulating themselves. Although property prices have risen globally, Dubai experienced the second highest rise in 2012. Read more here.
Internet companies that haven’t been named among the nine accused of allowing US Government surveillance via the NSA, look set to benefit, the UK’s Telegraph reports today. Currently, Google and Facebook are the biggest names in the scandal which broke yesterday and face a negative impact as a result. Forecasters predict that regional players could become stronger as users literally ‘pick their poison’. Analysts suggested that Amazon, which has not been named, probably carried less interesting information than Facebook, and has therefore been less of a concern to security services. Zuckerberg has also reacted angrily to the claims that Facebook has been involved in information spying. Read more here.