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By John R. Presley

This examine displays the present country of banking within the Arab Gulf and job within the region's monetary markets. The booklet covers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. each one bankruptcy examines improvement of industrial banking, financial coverage and the function of the vital banks, and the function of specialised monetary associations. The position of Gulf finance in foreign monetary markets is usually thought of, including the involvement of Western banks within the Gulf. The monetary weather within the Arab Gulf has replaced significantly in recent times reflecting financial and political improvement. The recession led to by means of the oil cost falls of the Eighties is now over, and the proposed finishing of the Gulf struggle has introduced new self belief. Uncertainties stay besides the fact that, and the region's monetary associations were compelled to consolidate and adapt to the hot weather. All of those concerns are mentioned during this publication.

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Although the number of companies in which shares are traded is very small, amounting to less than 80, the growth in company profitability, the increased industrial activity, the collapse of stock markets abroad in late 1987 and the subsequent return of capital to the Kingdom have all helped to give the Exchange increased buoyancy; it is also the expressed aim of the Fifth Development Plan to promote a very active and efficient equity market. 9 Clearly improvements in the provision of financial information and accounting standards in the Kingdom would go some way to assisting the development of the Stock Exchange.

Corporate business will develop, but there may be an even greater development in the retail market. 3 million and over a million will enter the workforce. The commercial banks must respond to these changes. A third factor - privatisation - can have both negative and positive effects on commercial banking. It can be viewed as a competitor to the deposit base of the banks, another possible use of liquidity. On the other hand, it may assist the development of the Stock Exchange, increasing turnover, and allowing the banks to exploit fee based income from share dealing, facilitating new issues and so on.

The most notable examples of these are the Kuwait Finance House, AI Baraka Group, offshoots of DMI Ltd. and the AI Rahji Investment Banking Corporation. 3 There is also, of course, the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, operating on Islamic lines which serves all Moslem countries and is the second most significant Development Bank in the world after the World Bank. With a highly religious Moslem population in the Gulf, these new banks have succeeded in attracting liquidity and pose a serious threat, in the long term, to the deposit base of the commercial banks.

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