UAE Central Bank Governor Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi has said that the country's banking system is not exposed to the Eurozone crisis.
Speaking at a press conference alongside Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, Al Suw-aidi also said that he was confident Europe would recover from its economic woes.
"Our banking system is [not at] risk. The government of the UAE will not resort to helping banks or local companies as our banking system is strong enough," Al Suwaidi told Gulf News following the press conference. He added that the UAE's financial position is "quite strong and that its banking system is not exposed to the Eurozone".
Al Suwaidi declined to comment on the country's holdings in euros.
Article continues below
He said that he was optimistic Europeans would solve their financial crisis but "this will take them some time".
"I am confident that the Eurozone countries will overcome their current financial challenges and will implement all required reforms."
He added there were many other countries whose debts are bigger than those of Eur-opean countries. Al Suwaidi said that oil prices could be affected by the ongoing problems in Europe. "Since the financial crisis in Europe will take some time to solve, it could be reflected in oil prices. Until now, we have seen that oil prices are still high," he said.
Al Suwaidi said that at the seminar with the ECB, the GCC representatives were briefed about the reasons for the European crisis and the measures that were being taken to resolve it.
Al Suwaidi's comments come after some analysts recently raised concerns about Eur-ope's impact on Gulf banks. The analysts argue that as a result of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, many international banks are reducing their exposure to emerging markets, including the Middle East. An estimated 50 per cent of bank lending in the Gulf is carried out by international lenders.
He added that yesterday's meeting in Abu Dhabi between GCC central bankers and their European counterparts didn't involve any discussions on the purchase of EU sovereign bonds by GCC countries.
"This matter [buying bonds] was never discussed at the seminar today and it is up to the right authorities to discuss that," he said.
Regarding the possibility of the UAE increasing its contribution to the International Monetary Fund, Al Suwaidi said the matter was up to each country to study and decide on it as "it's a sovereign decision."