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UAE Central Bank Warns Against Bitcoin

The UAE Central Bank has warned against Bitcoin, terming it as unofficial and lacking sufficient supervision. The warning was made by Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, Governor of the UAE Central Bank, on the sidelines of the Islamic Financial Services Board Summit. "Some nations have announced that they are not using Bitcoin, and consequently its value sharply plummeted. In addition, it can be easily used in money laundering and in funding terror activities," the Governor said, affirming that no licenses have been issued for using Bitcoin in the UAE local market.

In the meantime, Al Mansouri said the CB has completed the formation of a committee for developing Islamic Sharia-compliant products in order to support the Islamic finance sector in the country in line with the government's keenness to strengthen the sector over the coming period.

"The committee will be comprised of five members and will start working shortly," Al Mansouri added.

On the level of the UAE financial exposure to global capital markets, the governor said local markets have slight exposure to international financial markets, noting that the existing liquid assets now account for 17 percent of the banking sector's total assets, which corroborates the resilience and agility of the sector.

"UAE banks are robust enough to deal with risks as they have sufficient capital on account of the rising level of individual deposits, which reflects confidence in the country's banking sector," he said, highlighting in this respect the competitive deposit rates provided in the UAE.

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