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Bank ownership and performance in the Middle East and North Africa region

Author

Listed:
  • Farazi, Subika
  • Feyen, Erik
  • Rocha, Roberto

Abstract

Although both domestic and foreign private banks have gained ground in MENA in recent years, state banks continue to play an important role in many countries. Using a MENA bank-level panel dataset for the period 2001-08, the paper contributes to the empirical literature by documenting recent ownership trends and assessing the role of ownership and bank performance in MENA while accounting for key bank characteristics such as size and balance sheet composition. The paper analyzes headline performance indicators as well as their key drivers and finds that state banks exhibit significantly weaker performance, despite their larger size. This result is mainly driven by a larger holding of government securities, higher costs due to larger staffing numbers, and larger loan loss provisions reflecting weaker asset quality. The results reflect both operational inefficiencies and policy mandates. The paper also provides a detailed performance analysis of foreign and listed banks. Foreign banks are fairly new in MENA, yet perform on par with domestic banks despite their smaller size and higher investment costs. Listed banks exhibit superior performance driven by higher interest margins even in the face of higher costs associated with listing. Taken together, the results do not reject the development role for state banks, but do show that their intervention comes at a cost. As such, there is scope to reduce the share of state banks in some countries and to clarify the mandates, improve the governance, and strengthen the operational efficiency of most state banks in MENA.

Suggested Citation

  • Farazi, Subika & Feyen, Erik & Rocha, Roberto, 2011. "Bank ownership and performance in the Middle East and North Africa region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5620, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5620
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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2011/04/04/000158349_20110404090342/Rendered/PDF/WPS5620.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tobias Körner & Isabel Schnabel, 2010. "Public Ownership of Banks and Economic Growth – The Role of Heterogeneity," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_41, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Eduardo Levy-Yeyat & Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza, 2007. "A Reappraisal of State-Owned Banks," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 209-259, January.
    3. Rima Turk Ariss, 2008. "Financial liberalization and bank efficiency: evidence from post-war Lebanon," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(11), pages 931-946.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Lodh, Suman & Nandy, Monomita, 2017. "The performance of banks in the MENA region during the global financial crisis," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 583-590.
    2. Adolfo Barajas & Ralph Chami & Seyed Reza Yousefi, 2016. "The Finance and Growth Nexus Re-Examined: Do All Countries Benefit Equally?," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 1(5), pages 5-38, June.
    3. Michael, Bryane & Apostoloski, Nenad, 2012. "The Middle Eastern Wealth Management Industry: Boon or Bust?," MPRA Paper 52069, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alqahtani, Faisal & Mayes, David G. & Brown, Kym, 2017. "Reprint of Economic turmoil and Islamic banking: Evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 113-125.
    5. Haque, Faizul & Brown, Kym, 2017. "Bank ownership, regulation and efficiency: Perspectives from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 273-293.
    6. Alqahtani, Faisal & Mayes, David G. & Brown, Kym, 2016. "Economic turmoil and Islamic banking: Evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 44-56.
    7. World Bank, 2017. "Towards Privilege-Resistant Economic Policies in MENA," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27525, The World Bank.
    8. repec:eee:intfin:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:58-74 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks&Banking Reform; Access to Finance; Debt Markets; Corporate Law; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress;

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