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Dubai’s water and electricity authority (DEWA) said it has managed to grow power capacity by 18% last year amid rising demand in the emirate. The state-run utility company said its capacity increased to 8,718 megawatts (MW) in 2011 in comparison with 7,361MW the year before. “At DEWA, we review key performance indicators, compare them with best world practices, and work to improve and develop all operations to achieve excellence at all levels,” Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, said. He added that added that desalinated water production capacity increased in 2011 to 400 million gallons per day (MIGD) in comparison with 330 MIGD in 2010.

According to the Sharjah-based Arabic language daily Al Khaleej, the UAE Central Bank has demanded 23 national banks and 28 foreign units in the country to supply detailed information on all fees and interest rates charged by banks on credit card services, outstanding debt, withdrawn funds, debt defaults and other services. The paper reported that UAE credit cards carry the highest interest rates in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). According to a recent banking survey, majority of the customers in the UAE are unhappy with the services they receive from their banks.

According to a statement issued by Etihad Airways, the airline carried a record number of passengers and cargo last year while adding eight new routes to its global network. UAE’s national flag carrier, which recently acquired a 29.2% stake in Air Berlin, claimed around 8.29 million travellers flew with the airline last year, up 17% from 2010. The traffic growth was achieved while ?much of the world was still very much in the economic doldrums and oil prices remained high,? CEO James Hogan said in the statement. The company also reported a 28% rise in revenue to the tune of $1.72 billion in the first half of 2011.

Deposits of foreign banks in the UAE received a big boost during the first nine months of 2011, the Central Bank said in its September bulletin. The 51 banks’ deposits soared to nearly AED75billion at the end of September, a boost of around AED24 billion when compared to AED51.5 billion at the end of 2010. The increase boosted the UAE banks’ total foreign liabilities to around AED314.8 billion at the end of June last year, bringing it to the highest level since the end of December 2007. Their combined foreign assets also rose to nearly Dh245.3bn from Dh233.5bn in the same period, the report added.

According to the latest data released by Saudi central bank, the Kingdom’s inflation slowed to a four-year low of 5% on average in 2011 in contrast with the annual forecast of 5.8%. Average consumer price growth in the $577bn Saudi economy decelerated from 5.3 percent in 2010 partly due to a drop in global food prices. “It is pretty much flat as expected. We are looking at more of the same (in 2012). We tend to see some increased pressure from government spending but some relief from the relative strength of the dollar,” Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, said in an interview.

Economic Zones World (EZW), a unit of Dubai World, is considering the sale of its UK-based? warehouse property developer Gazeley, in its bid to repay some of its debt of around US$2 billion this year, three banking sources said on condition of anonymity. Gazeley, one of the four businesses held by EZW, operates technology, logistics and industrial parks as well as Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) under the Dubai World Group umbrella. The deal is expected to help EZW repay an amount of debt maturing at JAFZA, the sources added. JAFZA is aiming to refinance a US$2.04-billion Islamic bond maturing in November this year. Sources disclosed that investment bank Rothschild has been nominated for the process.

(By Moign Khawaja ? Editor: Arabian Gazette)

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