Gulf banks will likely continue steady recovery from 2008 crisis through 2013 despite eurozone turmoil
Source: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed July 4, 2012 1:58 pm
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UAE. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects Gulf banks to continue their steady recovery from the 2008 crisis and remain isolated from eurozone turmoil for the rest of 2012 and 2013, according to its published report titled "Gulf Banks Shrug Off Eurozone Turmoil To Continue Steady Recovery From 2008 Crisis."
 
"We believe the trend of declining loan loss provisions will continue for most of the banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council, resulting in further recovery in reported net profits despite adverse conditions in the eurozone and international banking markets," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Timucin Engin.
 
Since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008 and despite slower balance sheet growth, most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banks have maintained healthy earnings generation before provisioning.

Even though pockets of risk persist, asset quality continues to improve, and as a result banks do not need to set aside as many provisions to cover their loan losses. This trend of better asset quality and lower loan loss provisions is fueling the improvement in earnings at most Gulf banks.

We don't expect the eurozone turmoil to have a big direct impact on the GCC banks because their net funding dependence on European banks, and external funding in general, is largely limited and manageable, in our view.

European banks have traditionally been fund providers in international credit markets and they are now contracting their overseas exposures as they are trying to preserve liquidity and capital in line with increasing regulatory requirements and the challenges in the eurozone.

"GCC banks' lending and investment exposures to the eurozone are also very limited and their high levels of capital are also a major strength, and provide an important cushion against unforeseen stress on asset quality," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Paul-Henri Pruvost.
 
Apart from the Kingdom of Bahrain (BBB/Negative/A-3), other GCC members have remained largely insulated from the spillover effects of the political turmoil in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

The other five countries that make up the GCC are the United Arab Emirates (UAE, not rated), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (AA-/Stable/A-1+), the Sultanate of Oman (A/Stable/A-1), the State of Qatar (AA/Stable/A-1+), and the State of Kuwait (AA/Stable/A-1+).
 
The outlook for lending growth in Kuwait and the UAE remains limited, but is healthy for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. For most GCC banks, funding profiles have improved visibly in the past few years on the back of declining balance sheet growth.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

date:Posted: January 31, 2015
QATAR. In the end, monetary policy can be powerful in the short-term but is unlikely to change the long-term predicament of the Euro Area. The ECB may succeed in preventing prolonged deflation from taking hold, but this is a not a sufficient condition for sustainable growth.
date:Posted: January 30, 2015
INTERNATIONAL. Western politicians wishing to see a genuine resolution of Iran's nuclear crisis must continue with diplomatic efforts to isolate those among the Iranian rulers who wish for the collapse of the negotiations.
date:Posted: January 30, 2015
SAUDI ARABIA. Often businesses will seek to explore the market through a partner or a third party with which employees are placed and through which they seek to operate in the Kingdom.
QATAR. In the end, monetary policy can be powerful in the short-term but is unlikely to change the long-term predicament of the Euro Area. The ECB may succeed in preventing prolonged deflation from taking hold, but this is a not a sufficient condition for sustainable growth.
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