The United Arab Emirates' said on Wednesday its economy would rebound with "greater confidence" thanks to measures taken to reverse the impact of the global financial crisis on the second largest Arab economy.
"Despite all the negative effects of the crisis, they have proven that our economy is solid and capable of absorbing its various ramifications," the oil exporter's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said.
"We are confident that the steps and measures that we have taken so far would contribute to the return of initiative to our economy ... and continue the march of growth and construction with greater confidence and zeal," he added in a speech to the Federal National Council, a body that acts like a proxy parliament in the Gulf Arab union of seven emirates.
The federation includes key oil exporter Abu Dhabi and trade and tourism hub Dubai, ruled by Sheikh Mohammed.
Amid doubts that Dubai might default on debt mainly owed by state-linked entities amounting to around $70 billion, Sheikh Mohammed said the federation's economy cannot be looked at in fragments.
"Our national economy is coherent that upholds the federation as a final choice that regulates all the aspects of our life and in facing all the challenges we face."
Dubai is expected to launch the second trance of a $20 billion bond program this quarter. The UAE central bank bought the first portion of the bond worth $10 billion.
In related news, Citigroup raised its price target on shares of Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank by 31 percent to 26.2 dirhams citing an improved global growth outlook and expectations of stronger balance sheet growth than previously anticipated.
First Gulf Bank's return on average equity of 16.34 percent over 2009-15 is sustainable, said Citigroup in a note to clients.
"We remain optimistic on the outlook for margins and believe that FGB's high loan loss absorption capacity of 15.5 percent provides added comfort around any recapitalization concerns," the brokerage said.
Citigroup kept its "buy" rating on the stock, saying valuation was attractive.