ECR experts remain divided over the perceived risks to banking systems in the MENA region, and with only five of MENA’s 18 countries scoring more than 6.0 out of 10 for this particular risk indicator, it is clear it is not just Europe that has substantial solvency and liquidity issues.
With the exception of Qatar, Israel and one or two more, bank stability is a key risk for the majority of MENA countries, particularly in those countries weakened by conflict.
Partly this reflects the increased regulation seen since the global crisis and intended to strengthen balance sheets, but which has also created some confusion, enforcing a restructuring of the banking sector and raising capital requirements, with implications for future lending.
Few of the region’s banking systems are as vulnerable as the worst offenders in Europe, where bank-stability scores for Spain (3.6), Portugal (4.4), Ireland (3.4), Greece (2.7) and others are in most cases below the majority of MENA sovereigns. Still, low scores across North Africa, especially, demonstrate weaknesses in the region’s EMs.
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