The insurance sector in the UAE continued to grow in the Q1 2022 as reflected by the increase in number of insurance policies, gross written premiums and increase in the number of licenced insurance-related entities, while the number of insurance companies Y-o-Y remained the same in Q1 2022 at 62, according to the Quarterly Economic Review issued by the Central Bank of the UAE for Q1 2022 Figures on the insurance sector activity showed that the total number of insurance policies increased Y-o-Y by 10.4% in Q1 2022 to 2.3 million policy compared to 2.1 million policy in Q1 2021. This is mostly due to the property and liability insurance policies.
Gross Written Premiums (GWP) increased Y-o-Y by 4.6% in Q1 2022 to AED 15.8 billion mostly due to increase in property and liability insurance premiums by 12.2%. Health insurance increased Y-o-Y by 2.5% in Q1 2022.
Gross paid claims of all types of insurance plans increased by 3.1% Y-o-Y to AED 6.6 billion in Q1 2022. This is mainly driven by the increase in claims paid to engineering and construction industry, as well as fire.
The total technical provisions increased by 2.1% Y-o-Y to AED 73.4 billion in Q1 2022 compared to AED 71.9 billion in Q1 2021, due to increase in all types of technical provisions.
The total invested assets in the insurance sector increased by 5.4% Y-o-Y to AED 77.8 billion (61.1% of total assets) at the end of Q1 2022 compared to AED 73.8 billion (59.4% of total assets) in Q1 2021.
Cheques worth AED389.54 billion have been handled by the Image based Cheque Clearing System (ICCS) in the first four months of the current year, a growth of 12 percent compared with the same period in 2021, according to statistics released by the UAE Central Bank (UAECB).
The statistics showed that the number of cheques processed by the ICCS increased by 2.7 percent in the January-April period to 7.24 million from 7.049 million in the same period last year.
The figures noted that March registered the highest value of cheques processed through the clearing system at AED108.03 billion, followed by April at AED98.79 billion, January at AED92.02 billion, and February at AED90.69 billion.
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has issued a notice to all banks and finance companies operating in the UAE on housing loans granted to beneficiaries of the Home Finance of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP).
The notice included details of the CBUAE decision, in agreement with SZHP and in line with Article (5) of the Regulations Regarding Mortgage Loans, issued in 2013. According to the said decision, the debt burden ratio of the beneficiaries of the Home Finance Program of SZHP in monthly installments out of their total salary or any income from a known specific source has been increased from 50% to a maximum 60%. The decision also stated that UAE nationals, with long-term loans, shall be provided the flexibility to obtain housing loans of SZHP, after ascertaining their ability to pay within the DBR limit of 60%.
Banks are allowed to increase the DBR for retirees and senior UAE nationals from 30% to 50%, so that they can benefit from SZHP housing loans, after ascertaining their ability to repay, within the DBR limit of 50%, and after obtaining from them a no-objection statement to increase the monthly deductions against the housing loan.
Moreover, the SZHP housing loans borrowers’ contribution of 15% in the down payment for the housing loans that their profit/interest is guaranteed and paid by the Federal Government, has been cancelled, subject to the following conditions: The property to be constructed/ purchased through financing is the first house for the UAE national and to be used for his personal residence.
Should the amount of the loan exceeded the amount of loan profit/interest of which guaranteed and paid by the Federal Government, the UAE national shall be required to pay, from his own resources and not from other lending sources, the difference in the payable ratio of the down payment of 15% required by the regulations.
Compliance with all other requirements stated in the Mortgage Loans Regulation and amendments thereto.
The CBUAE is keen to support the UAE government’s efforts to achieve happiness, housing stability, and provide comfort and well-being for its people, in light of the new policy for federal government housing loans that was approved by the Cabinet to provide financing for housing loans in partnership with the private sector and national banks. This will reduce the waiting period for housing applications.
The Mortgage Loans Regulation, issued by the CBUAE, aims at setting acceptable minimum standards for mortgage collaterals to safeguard the financial sector and consumer. It also aims at promoting financial stability and contribute to sound development and organisation of the mortgage loans market in the UAE, employing appropriate and advanced regulations.
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has decided to raise the Base Rate applicable to the Overnight Deposit Facility (ODF) by 75 basis points, effective from Thursday, 28th July, 2022.
This decision was taken following the US Federal Reserve Board’s announcement on 27th July, 2022, to increase the Interest on Reserve Balances (IORB) by 75 basis points.
The CBUAE also has decided to maintain the rate applicable to borrowing short-term liquidity from the CBUAE through all standing credit facilities at 50 basis points above the Base Rate.
The Base Rate, which is anchored to the US Federal Reserve’s IORB, signals the general stance of the CBUAE’s monetary policy. It also provides an effective interest rate floor for overnight money market rates.
The value of gold reserve of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) rose by 1.63 percent in the first five months of the year, according to the apex latest statistics.
The figures, which were released today, showed that the CBUAE’s reserve of the yellow metal reached AED12.107 billion by end of May, rising AED194 million during the January-May period as compared with AED11.913 billion by end of December 2021.
The reserve of gold grew exponentially to AED8.961 billion by end of 2020 from AED4 billion by end of 2019.
Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the UAE witnessed significant growth in recent years, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report by the Ministry of Economy, during the past decade from 2012 to 2021, FDIs in the country increased by 116 percent, amounting to US$20.667 billion in 2021 compared to $9.566 billion in 2012.
FDI inflows witnessed remarkable growth over the last decade, rising from $9.764 billion in 2013, $11.071 billion in 2014, $8.55 billion in 2015, $9.604 billion in 2016, and $10.354 billion in 2017, $10.385 billion in 2018, $17.874 billion in 2019, and $19.884 billion in 2020.
In light of this growth, the UAE was ranked 19th globally in the list of top 20 countries that attract FDIs, and the first in West Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region.
Moreover, the cumulative FDI balance received by the UAE also increased by 141.6 percent from 2011 to 2021, rising from $71.02 billion to reach $171.563 billion last year, representing an increase of more than $100.5 billion over 11 years.
In recent years, all national economic sectors have continued attracting FDIs. According to data from the Central Bank of the UAE, the national manufacturing sector grew by 13 percent, the healthcare sector by nine percent, the information and communication technology sector by six percent, the financial, banking and insurance sector by four percent, the real estate sector by four percent, the oil and gas sector by three percent, and the services sector by two percent, compared to 2020.
Meanwhile, the value of global FDI inflows amounted to $1.6 trillion, an increase of 64 percent compared to 2020.
Last year, most developed countries witnessed growth in terms of FDIs. In the US, FDI inflow more than doubled to $367 billion while in developing economies, FDI inflows increased by 30 percent to $837 billion.
Total assets of the 22 national banks rose to AED 3.023 trillion in the first five months of 2022, up 4 percent (AED 117.3 billion), according to latest statistics released by the UAE Central Bank (CBUAE).
Assets of national banks accounted for 87.8 percent of gross banking sector’s assets of AED 3.442 trillion by end of last May, against 12.2 percent for foreign banks.
Assets of the 37 foreign banks rose 2.22 percent (AED 9.1 billion) to AED 419.4 billion by end of May from AED 410.3 billion in May 2021.
In the first five months of the year, foreign banks’ assets grew by AED 3.9 billion or 0.94 percent.
The Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) announced that the number of beneficiaries of the inflation allowance, which includes food, water and electricity, and fuel subsidies, under the Social Welfare Progarmme of low-income citizens, have so far reached 47,300 families across the nation.
The subsidies underscore the keenness of the country’s leadership and government to provide low-income citizens with means of decent living.
The MoCD has approved the disbursement of the Fuel Subsidy through ADNOC Distribution since Mid-July and the Food Subsidies through LuLu Hypermarket since 5th August. Electricity and water subsidies will be paid to eligible categories for the inflation allowance in September. The eligibility criteria and eligible categories for the Water and Electricity Subsidies shall be the same as those for the fuel and food subsidies.
The value of the Food Subsidies is linked to the change in inflation rates for basic foodstuffs.
The Ministry of Community Development said the social welfare applications and related inquiries can be submitted through the ministry’s website (www.mocd.gov.ae) and smart application. Registrations must be made using the UAE Pass or registration with the Emirates ID.
In early July, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan directed the restructuring of the Social Welfare Progarmme of low-income citizens into an integrated programme, and doubling its funding from AED14 billion to AED28 billion.