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GCC states issued over 35,000 business licenses UAE tops list: report

RIYADH, Dec 8, (KUNA): With an eye to bolster pan-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economic cooperation to reach full integration, the GCC governments have issued 35,721 business licenses for nationals of other member states till 2012 compared with only 6,514 licenses in 2000. A report by the GCC General Secretariat said Sunday the United Arab Emirates have topped the list of the license issuers with 30,425 licenses; followed by Kuwait with 3,372; Bahrain with 758; Saudi Arabia with 492; Oman with 416 and Qatar with 258. The Saudis topped the list of license owners with 46 percent share, then came Kuwaitis with 17 percent share, Omanis with 15 percent, Bahrainis with 14 percent, Qataris with six percent share and Emiratis with two percent shares.

The report disclosed that the number of Gulf commercial banks’ branches opened in other than the country of the headquarter also jumped to 24 by 2012 from only seven in 2000. The UAE banks was ranked first with seven branches followed by Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait with four branches each. The host countries of the bank branches were topped by Kuwait with seven branches, the United Arab Emirates with six, Saudi Arabia with five, Bahrain with three, Oman two and Qatar one branch. The report estimated the total loans offered to Gulf investors by national banks and industrial development funds of other member states, at USD 1.6 billion by 2012.

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