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Banks in the United Arab Emirates are increasing their exposure to the country's booming real estate industry, betting that five years after property values slumped and nonperforming loans soared, this time it will be different.Lending to the construction segment climbed 40 percent to 181 billion dirhams ($49 billion) in 2013, according to the latest central bank data, the most since 2008, when loans jumped 81 percent. Nonperforming loans at UAE banks grew to between 10-12 percent after the credit crisis as property prices crashed by more than half. In Dubai, real-estate prices increased 35 percent last year, the biggest jump globally, according to Knight Frank LLP.
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