[IMGCAP(1)]

Credit-reporting agencies in Pakistan, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have formed a regional credit-reporting agency. The Middle East Credit Reporting Association will function as a nonprofit organization to facilitate the exchange of consumer-credit information among members, the group says in a statement. Those members include United Arab Emirates-based Emcredit, Bahrain-based Benefit Co., Oman-based National Bureau of Commercial Information and Pakistan-based Credit Chex. The announcement comes as more Pakistani workers are leaving Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates because of the global recession, according to press reports. Many of those workers reportedly are leaving without paying credit card bills. Last month, for instance, United Arab Emirates-based Mashreq Bank said the number of foreign workers leaving without paying off their credit card bills was above expectations, following an "unprecedented" number of delinquencies during the first half of the year.

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