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CBUAE Holds Base Rate: What does this mean for your business6 min read

Author: Uwe Hohmann
Managing Partner, MBA Tax Law / Commercial- & Tax Consultant

In a recent announcement, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has decided to maintain the Base Rate for the Overnight Deposit Facility (ODF) at 5.40%. This decision aligns with the US Federal Reserve’s latest policy to keep the Interest Rate on Reserve Balances (IORB) unchanged. Understanding the potential impacts of this decision is important for stakeholders in the UAE’s financial and business sectors.

Stability in the Monetary Environment

The Base Rate is an important component of the UAE’s monetary policy, as it provides a benchmark that influences overall lending rates within the country. By keeping the Base Rate unchanged at 5.40%, the CBUAE signals a stable monetary environment, likely aimed at balancing economic growth with the need to manage inflationary pressures. This rate serves as an effective floor for overnight money market rates, ensuring that short-term interest rates do not fall below a set minimum, thus maintaining a controlled environment for the movement of capital.

Impact on Borrowing Costs

The decision to maintain the interest rate for borrowing short-term liquidity from the CBUAE at 50 basis points above the Base Rate for all standing credit facilities also has important implications. This means that the rate for these credit facilities remains at 5.90%, influencing the cost of capital for banks and lending institutions. In turn, this affects their lending strategies and the interest rates offered to consumers and businesses. For companies operating in the UAE, this translates to relatively stable borrowing costs, providing a predictable expense outlook for those relying on credit for business operations.

Considerations for Your Business

Businesses and investors in the region must consider the implications of stable interest rates on their strategic planning and investment decisions. Stable rates might encourage continued investment and development projects for sectors sensitive to interest rate fluctuations, such as real estate and construction. Conversely, for the consumer market, stable interest rates could mean sustained spending power, especially in scenarios where consumers are reliant on loans and credit facilities to manage their expenditures.

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