Banks, stocks drive Abu Dhabi economy up in Q1

Published June 9th, 2013 - 05:13 GMT
Abu Dhabi economy improves significantly in first quarter
Abu Dhabi economy improves significantly in first quarter

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) said yesterday economic conditions in the emirate improved considerably in the first quarter this year led by an outstanding performance of local banks and the stock market that was further boosted by high global oil prices and inflow of tourists into the emirate.

Releasing the Business Cycle General Index of the emirate for the quarter ended March 31, ADDED said the index reflected the effects of the Abu Dhabi government’s announcement at the beginning of the year of major financial allocations with a total of Dh330 billion going to various capital projects in various sectors during the period 2013-2017 so as to boost partnership with the private sector in the process of development and to stimulate economic activity in the emirate.

“A quick review of the most important economic developments during the first quarter, shows that the real estate sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, experienced a revival in demand for new housing units in the nearby cities of Abu Dhabi Island,” said the report.

Data from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority showed the tourism sector experienced a revival at the beginning of 2013.

General index

In addition, Abu Dhabi Security Exchange’s general index increasing by 15 per cent at the end of March to close at 3,025.33 points.

ADDED said the improvement in the market sentiments was led by a proposed merger between Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate that would lead to the creation of a new company with assets of more than Dh47 billion.

Furthermore, the banking sector saw a strong recovery and activity in 2012 which reflected positively on the growth of banks profits, and contributed significantly to the rise of local stock markets during the first quarter of 2013.

“Murban crude price increased during the months of January and February 2013, reaching $94.66/barrel (Dh347.40) and $115.40/barrel (Dh423.52) respectively, which was higher than the price registered in December 2012. However it dropped in March 2013 to about $ 109.95/barrel,” ADDED noted.

The Abu Dhabi emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to grow at an average annual rate of 5.7 per cent between 2013-2016, Mohammad Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said in November last year.

The manufacturing sector in the emirate is estimated to grow at an average 7.1 per cent during the period 2013-2016, Abdullah said at the time.

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