News: Emirates Islamic Bank has launched a new prepaid card as it looks to expand customer numbers, according to a press statement. The lender said that its new Emirates Islamic Bank Prepaid Card could allow purchases online and at retail outlets, while giving access to cash machines and applying what it described as ' incredibly low ' rates in fees and charges. The bank added that it had seen prepaid cards become increasingly popular in the region.
BMI View : We continue to hold a relatively cautious outlook for the commercial banking sector in the UAE as growth will be tempered by deleveraging ahead of the 2014 funding cliff. There is a significant divergence between the outlooks among the emirates with the housing market in Dubai looking more attractive than Abu Dhabi. Overall, we forecast loan growth to come in at 6.0% in 2013 and 9.0% on 2014.