The Effects of Bank Regulations, Competition and Financial Reforms on MENA Banks’ Profitability
In this paper, we examine the influence of bank regulations, concentration, financial and institutional development on commercial bank margin and profitability across a broad menu of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. We cover the 1989-2005 period and control for a wide array of macroeconomic,, financial and bank characteristics. The empirical results find that bank specific characteristics, in particular bank capitalization and credit risk, have positive and significant impact on banks’ net interest margin, cost efficiency and profitability. As for the impact of macroeconomic and financial development indicators on bank performance, we conclude that these variables have no significant impact on net interest margin, except for inflation. However, inflation shocks seem to be passed mainly through the deposit rates — which means that banks bear the entire negative cost of inflation. Also, the results suggest that banks lower their operating costs in a well-developed banking sector environment (as confirmed by the negative and statically significant coefficient of the bank development variable in the cost efficient regression models). Furthermore, the stock market development variable is always positive and significant in all specifications, suggesting that banks that operate in a well-developed stock market environment tend to have greater profit opportunities. The regulatory and institutional variables seem to have an impact on bank performance as the results suggest that corruption increases the cost efficiency and net interest margins while an improvement in the law and order variable decreases the cost of efficiency without affecting performance. The analysis has a clear set of policy implications for the MENA countries. It is evident that enhancing competition through easing entry of foreign banks should be accommodated since it could reduce interest margins by intensifying competition. Additionally, the development of capital markets is encouraged to improve banks’ transparency and provide for better screening and monitoring of bank activities. Governments should also improve governance at the macro level — with implementing initiatives for fighting corruption and enforcing law and order as they have a positive impact on banks performance. Last, states are encouraged to speed up bank privatization activities that allow for changing ownership and control from the state to the private sector, so increasing competition, transparency and performance of banks.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2008|
|Date of revision:||Oct 2008|
|Publication status:||Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 21 Al-Sad Al Aaly St. Dokki, Giza|
Web page: http://www.erf.org.eg
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:449. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Namees Nabeel)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.