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Moody's sees Real Estate downturn risk in Dubai and UAE

There is a risk of "short-term real estate downturn" in the UAE that could affect ratings outlook of local institutions, a Moody's official said. Banks in the UAE have high levels of exposure to the real estate sector and a correction in property prices would adversely affect them.

"A downturn in the real estate market would be the most pertinent shot-term risk," said Tristan Cooper, senior analyst at the sovereign risk unit of Moody's Investors Service.

But the UAE economy "could absorb quite a strong shock" because of the country's healthy public finance situation and a large current account surplus, Cooper said, indicating that the prospects for the UAE sovereign ratings upgrade remain favourable. Moody's has opened an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
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