Business and Economics > Islamic Banking and Finance

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Ms. May Y Khamis, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, Mr. Gabriel Sensenbrenner, Mr. Francis Y Kumah, Maher Hasan, and Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad
This paper focuses on impact of the global financial crisis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries and challenges ahead. The oil price boom led to large fiscal and external balance surpluses in the GCC countries. However, it also generated domestic imbalances that began to unravel with the onset of the global credit squeeze. As the global deleveraging process took hold, and oil prices and production fell, the GCC’s external and fiscal surpluses declined markedly, stock and real estate markets plunged, credit default swap spreads on sovereign debt widened, and external funding for the financial and corporate sectors tightened. In order to offset the shocks brought on by the crisis, governments—buttressed by strong international reserve positions—maintained high levels of spending and introduced exceptional financial measures, including capital and liquidity injections. The immediate priority is to complete the clean-up of bank balance sheets and the restructuring of the nonbanking sector in some countries. Clear communication by the authorities would help implementation, ease investor uncertainty, and reduce speculation and market volatility.
International Monetary Fund
This Financial System Stability Assessment on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) examines macroeconomic and financial sector developments. The banking sector as a whole shows comfortable levels of capitalization and profits, having benefited from the rapid expansion of the economy and a steady decline in the ratio of nonperforming loans (NPLs) to total loans. Although mortgages still account for a relatively small part of bank loan portfolios, the indirect exposure could be significant. Some financial institutions’ lending standards also may be weakening as they compete for new business in mortgage lending.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This volume comprises two separate papers on key structural aspects of the reform process in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The first paper addresses issues related to financial intermediation and reform in the context of the evolving economic environment in the GCC countries. The second discusses the labor market challenges and policy issues in the GCC countries and their implications for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.