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Gulf banking markets 'worst hit by global crisis'.

Byline: Arthur Macdonald

MANAMA: Last year was seen to be the most difficult periods in recent years in the Gulf financial markets starting with the default of Saad and Gosaibi groups and ending with Dubai's crisis, according to a report by Global Investment House.

The GCC banking sector reported drops in net profits by 8.56 per cent last year reaching $14.40 billion against $15.75bn in 2008.

Kuwait reported an increase in net profits of 70.22pc last year but elsewhere the trend was downward with the Bahraini banking sector reporting the biggest losses in net profit as it declined by 35.23pc.

The GCC governments are still offering direct and indirect support, which reduced the impact of the crisis.

"In the Bahraini banking sector, the default of Saad and Gosaibi groups was the greatest crisis faced by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)," the report said.

"The CBB imposed control over The International Banking Corporation and Awal Bank, and appointed the Department of Foreign Affairs to protect the interests of creditors.

"Out of seven listed banks, three banks recorded a decline in net profit for the year 2009 compared to 2008, two managed to achieve growth in net profit, while Bahrain Islamic Bank, reported the only loss of $51.29 million, compared with net profit of $59m in the previous year.

"Bahraini Saudi Bank was excluded of this comparison as it has not disclosed its financial results yet.

"The consolidated net profits of the banking sector declined by 35.23pc last year to reach $399.71m against $617.10m recorded in 2008."

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Mar 15, 2010
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