A recently published report by MEED magazine presented a bleak picture regarding the performance of 66 banks in the Arabian Gulf region in 2000, according to Al-Bayan daily.
The report revealed that a number of reasons account for the grim picture. For one, many of these banks have yet to conform to the new global economy and shifts in the forces of supply and demand. Also, the unstable political situation, which has made the region inconvenient and unsafe in the eyes of potential investors, has severely affected the investment atmosphere in the region.
In additon, foreign banks in the region tend to offer more innovative services than most national financial establishments.
Despite the findings, the situation is not all that bad. According to the report, all but two of the 66 banks recorded profits and net operating incomes in 2000, with approximately $4.811 billion in cumulative profits. This figure reflects an 80 percent increase from the previous year. –(MENA Report)
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