Using data on commercial banks in the United States and Europe, this paper analyses the impact of the new Basel III capital and liquidity regulation on bank-lending following the 2008 financial crisis. We find that U.S. banks reinforce their risk absorption capacities when expanding their credit activities. Capital ratios have significant, negative impacts on bank-retail-and-other-lending-growth for large European banks in the context of deleveraging and the “credit crunch” in Europe over the post-2008 financial crisis period. Additionally, liquidity indicators have positive but perverse effects on bank-lending-growth, which supports the need to consider heterogeneous banks’ characteristics and behaviors when implementing new regulatory policies.
Our paper examines the effect of oil price changes on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stock markets using nonlinear smooth transition regression (STR) models. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our empirical results reveal that GCC stock markets do not have similar sensitivities to oil price changes. We document the presence of stock market returns’ asymmetric reactions in some GCC countries, but not for others. In Kuwait’s case, negative oil price changes exert larger impacts on stock returns than positive oil price changes. When considering the asymmetry with respect to the magnitude of oil price variation, we find that Oman’s and Qatar’s stock markets are more sensitive to large oil price changes than to small ones. Our results highlight the importance of economic stabilization and reform policies that can potentially reduce the sensitivity of stock returns to oil price changes, especially with regard to the existence of asymmetric behavior.
This paper examines how financial development affects the sources of growth—productivity and investment—using a sample of 145 countries for the period 1960-2011. We employ a range of econometric approaches, focusing on the CCA and MENA countries. The analysis looks beyond financial depth to capture the access, efficiency, stability, and openness dimensions of financial development. Yet even in this broad interpretation, financial development does not appear to be a magic bullet for economic growth. We cannot confirm earlier findings of an unambiguously positive relationship between financial development, investment, and productivity. The relationship is more complex. The influence of the different dimensions of financial development on the sources of growth varies across income levels and regions.
This paper provides evidence on the link between financial development and income distribution. Several dimensions of financial development are considered: financial access, efficiency, stability, and liberalization. Each aspect is represented by two indicators: one related to financial institutions, and the other to financial markets. Using a sample of 143 countries from 1961 to 2011, the paper finds that four of the five dimensions of financial development can significantly reduce income inequality and poverty, except financial liberalization, which tends to exacerbate them. Also, banking sector development tends to provide a more significant impact on changing income distribution than stock market development. Together, these findings are consistent with the view that macroeconomic stability and reforms that strengthen creditor rights, contract enforcement, and financial institution regulation are needed to ensure that financial development and liberalization fully support the reduction of poverty and income equality.
The paper analyses existing country-level information on the relationship between the development of Islamic banking and financial inclusion. In Muslim countries—members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—various indicators of financial inclusion tend to be lower, and the share of excluded individuals citing religious reasons for not using bank accounts is noticeably greater than in other countries; Islamic banking would therefore seem to be an effective avenue for financial inclusion. We found, however, that although physical access to financial services has grown more rapidly in the OIC countries, the use of these services has not increased as quickly. Moreover, regression analyis shows evidence of a positive link to credit to households and to firms for financing investment, but this empirical link remains tentative and relatively weak. The paper explores reasons that this might be the case and suggests several recommendations to enhance the ability of Islamic banking to promote financial inclusion.
This study examines the effect of financial-sector reform on bank performance in selected Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries in the period 1994 -2008. We evaluate bank efficiency in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon and Tunisia by means of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and we employ a meta-frontier approach to calculate efficiency scores in a cross-country setting. We then employ a second-stage regression to investigate the impact of institutional, financial, and bank specific variables on bank efficiency. Overall, the analysis shows that, despite similarities in the process of financial reforms undertaken in the five MENA countries, the observed efficiency levels of banks vary substantially across markets, with Morocco consistently outperforming the rest of the region.Differences in technology seem to be crucial in explaining efficiency differences. To foster banking sector performance, policies should be aimed at giving banks incentives to improve their risk management and portfolio management techniques. Improvements in the legal system and in the regulatory and supervisory bodies would also help to reduce inefficiency.
The paper provides robust evidence that compliance with Basel Core Principles (BCPs) has a strong positive effect on the Z-score of conventional banks, albeit less pronounced on the Zscore of Islamic banks. Using a sample of banks operating in 19 developing countries, the results appear to be driven by capital ratios, a component of Z-score for the two types of banks. Even though smaller on Islamic banks, individual chapters of BCPs also suggest a positive effect on the stability of conventional banks. The findings support the effective role of BCP standards in improving bank stability, whose important implications led to the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) publication of new recommendations in 2015 to bring BCP standards in line with the Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (CPIFRs) standards. Our findings suggest that because Islamic banks are benchmarked closely to BCPs, the implementation of CPFIRs should also positively affect their stability.
The 1988 Basel I Accord set the common requirements of bank capital to promote the soundness and stability of the international banking system. The agreement required banks to hold capital in proportion to their perceived credit risks, and this requirement may have caused a “credit crunch,” a significant reduction in the supply of credit. We investigate the direct link between the implementation of the Basel I Accord and lending activities, using a data set spanning annual observations covering 1989–2004 for banks in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. The results provide clear support for a significant increase in credit growth following the implementation of capital regulations, in general. Despite higher capital adequacy ratios, banks expanded credit and asset growth. Credit growth appears to be driven by demand fluctuations attributed to real growth, cost of borrowing, and exchange rate risk. Overall, the effects of macroeconomic variables, in contrast to capital adequacy, appear to be more dominant in determining credit growth, regardless of the capital adequacy ratio, and regardless of variation across banks by nationality, ownership, and listing.
Attracting capital and foreign exchange flows is crucial for developing countries. Yet, these flows could lead to real exchange rate appreciation and may thus have detrimental effects on competitiveness, jeopardizing exports and growth. This paper investigates this dilemma by comparing the impact of six types of capital and foreign exchange flows on real exchange rate behavior in a sample of 57 developing countries covering Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The results reveal that portfolio investments, foreign borrowing, aid, and income lead to real exchange rate appreciation, while remittances have disparate effects across regions. Foreign direct investments have no effect on the real exchange rate, contributing to resolve the above dilemma.
In this paper, we use a bank-level panel dataset to investigate the determinants of bank interest margins in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) over the period 1998–2013. We apply the dealership model of Ho and Saunders (1981) and its extensions to assess the extent to which high spreads of banks in the CCA can be related to bank-specific variables, to competition, and to macroeconomic factors. We find that interest spreads are affected by operating cost, credit risk, liquidity risk, bank size, bank diversification, banking sector competition, and macroeconomic policies; but the impact depends on the country.