GPCA '11: Bank lending to GCC private sector recovering

15 December 2011 09:19  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Bank lending to the private sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has been recovering in the second half of this year, registering a 1.5-2.0% month-on-month growth, said Brad Bourland, chief economist and managing director of Proprietary Investments on Thursday.

Bank lending to the private sector in the GCC region had been contracting since the 2008 global financial crisis unfolded, he said.

It had on average grown at 3-4% month-on-month before the crisis, he said.

The recovery is mainly in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, although banks are selective in their lending in Saudi Arabia, he said.

There has been little credit growth in Kuwait and lending was ‘anemic’ in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where banks are focused on building credit bases, he said.

Total bank lending to the petrochemical sectors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates was estimated at $30bn (€23bn), which accounts for 5-6% of the total lending in these countries, he said.

Bourland was presenting at the 6th GPCA Forum that is being held on 13-15 December, with the theme “Moving Downstream – Creating Value and Sustainable Growth”.

By: Chow Bee Lin
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