British expats across UAE still cashing in on weak sterling

Published:  17 Oct at 6 PM
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After the pound sterling fell to a 31-year low last week, British expats working in the UAE rushed to remit currency to the UK.

Remittance volumes from the UAE to UK banks have soared by 135 per cent over the same week in September as expats took advantage of the fall in sterling. The cashing in is likely to continue as major banks are predicting further falls in the next few weeks.

The Bank of America, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are all predicting more pressure for the pound sterling as traders take into account the risks of a hard Brexit. On the other hand, the US dollar was boosted last week by the publication of positive data from manufacturers.

Ever since the 10 per cent drop in sterling’s value immediately following the Brexit announcement, the currency has been in a state of high volatility. Extended losses are now at around 20 per cent following the UK Prime Minster’s announcement on the triggering of Article 50, and the ‘flash crash’ on October 7 made matters worse,.

Meanwhile in Kuwait, the emirate’s parliament has been dissolved after an emergency cabinet meeting was called. Local media are reporting the decree was a response to increasing security challenges and volatile regional developments, as well as a so-called ‘lack of cooperation’ involving certain ministers. Parliamentary polls will now take place within 60 days of the dissolution, with politicians already planning their campaigns, although an election date has not yet been announced.

Ever increasing commodity and food prices are sparking protests in the emirate from locals and expats alike, with price inflation being blamed on the lack of supervision and monitoring by officials leading to greed on the part of traders. Consumers are comparing the price of foodstuffs with the same items in other Gulf states, with many now buying from Saudi Arabia as a result.
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