Saudis raise stakes in UAE ventures

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Saudi nationals received the highest rates of licenses to do business in the UAE last year, local media said, citing a report released by the UAE Ministry of Finance.
It said Saudi received 43.2 percent of the total licenses granted to GCC nationals.
According to the report, property ownership in Dubai by Saudi and GCC nationals registered a considerable growth. The number of Saudi-owned properties alone stood at 30,094 in the UAE by the end of 2012.
The volume of investments by GCC citizens in the UAE stock market, meanwhile. reached 7.38 billion, the report said.
The number of properties owned by the GCC nationals and registered in the UAE increased by 8.2 percent in 2012 to reach 11,761 compared to 10,873 in 2011.
In total, the number of properties owned by the GCC nationals in the UAE stood at 56,663 of which 30,094 property units went to Saudis, the report said.
On the other hand, the number of licenses granted to the GCC nationals to do business in the UAE increased by 25 percent to reach 30,425 by the end of 2012 compared to 28,909 licenses in 2011.
The Saudi nationals got the highest rates of licenses granted to the GCC nationals at 43.2 percent, followed by the Kuwaitis at the rate of 19.6 percent of the totals, the report said.
With regard to the GCC banks operating in the UAE, two new branches of the GCC banks were opened in 2012 which brought the number of banks to eight branches.
The UAE is currently hosting two branches of Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK), another two branches for Doha Bank, and one branch for the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), Samba Financial Group (SFG), and the National Bank of Oman (NBO).
In 2012, the GCC nationals were allowed to trade shares (stocks) in 80 joint-stock companies, or 74.8 percent of the companies registered with the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
The number of the GCC investors in the UAE stock market reached 126,684 in 2012, the majority of them are Saudis, the report said.
The number of the GCC nationals working in the UAE governmental sector reached 1,608 in 2012 compared to 963 in 2011 whereas the GCC nationals working in the UAE private sector firms rose to 3,031 from 2,927 employees in 2011, the report said.

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