UAE posts highest saving rate in Gulf region: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-01 21:43:57|Editor: Song Lifang
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DUBAI, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A Dubai-based saving certificates provider said on Saturday that 37 percent of the savers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are regular ones, the highest in the Gulf region in 2016.

In other Gulf countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, 27 percent of the savers put money aside on a regular basis, while 25 percent in Saudi Arabia do so, National Bonds Corporation said in an e-mailed statement, citing a survey by Amman-based Sondos Market Research.

The survey also gained feedback from respondents on three key areas: financial stability, saving potential and existence of an enabling saving environment in their respective countries.

According to the results, 50 percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia, the biggest Gulf state, and 55 percent in Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, are the sole earners in their families. In addition, 44 percent of the respondents partially contribute to their household income.

Meanwhile, 88 percent of the Saudi respondents save money every month, and in the rest of the surveyed Gulf Arab countries, 90 percent do so.

Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali, chief executive officer of National Bonds Corporation, said the index is a significant indicator of the economic pulse of each country.

"The decline in Saudi Arabia's score reflects the changes the nation has witnessed. However, the index also records a positive sentiment among the majority of respondents," said Al-Ali.

"Saving potential as well as financial stability and intention to increase savings in the near future have also registered an uptick," he added.

Inflation, high living costs and unexpected expenses are the three factors most likely to affect the saving plans of the respondents in 2017, the company said.

The Gulf states plan to levy a 5 percent value-added tax in 2017, marking a first in the oil-rich and mostly income tax-free region, it noted.

Earlier last week, the UAE's second biggest bank Emirates NBD said it had lowered its forecast for the economic growth in the Gulf state in 2017 from 3.4 percent to 2.0 percent.