Standard Chartered Says U.A.E. Consumer Loans Jumped 20% in 2012

Standard Chartered Plc said its United Arab Emirates consumer-banking assets grew almost 20 percent last year as the British bank extended more mortgage loans and credit to small and medium-sized companies.

Standard Chartered, which counts the second-largest Arab economy as one of its top 10 global markets, played a “more-active role” in lending to the segments, regarded by the government as critical for development, Khalid Elgibaly, head of consumer banking for the U.A.E. and the Middle East, told a news conference in Dubai today.

Standard Chartered has about 4 percent market share in U.A.E. consumer banking, Elgibaly said at an event to unveil a new platform for electronic banking. The country’s 51 banks, including local units of HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc., posted loan growth of 2.6 percent in 2012 to 1.1 trillion dirhams ($299 billion), according to central bank data.

Home prices in Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the U.A.E. federation, increased last year as an economic recovery in the city spurred demand for properties. Standard Chartered posted 60 percent growth in new mortgage lending in 2012, Ramy Lawand, the bank’s spokesman, said at the conference.

The nation’s central bank agreed last week to raise the cap on mortgage loans to expatriates to 75 percent of the property’s value for their first home purchase, a person familiar with the matter said. The regulator had earlier proposed limiting home loans to 50 percent of the value.

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