Banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) continue to recover
from the global financial crisis despite ongoing social turmoil in
the Middle East, a report by management consulting firm A T Kearney

The report, titled The Middle East Banking Market: Outlook
found that banks in the GCC have to identify new
strategies to grow and improve productivity.

But the report also said that growth and
profitability among GCC banks “remained far below pre-crisis levels
and vary significantly among markets.”

In the UAE, growth of assets and profits fell,
while in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

For 2011, the A T Kearney report forecast higher profits,
reduced cost of risk and a favourable macroeconomic environment
boosted by higher oil prices.

However, the report emphasised that profitability will be
restrained in comparison with previous years.

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“The question for GCC bankers is how to grow and improve profits
in a year when their time-tested and proven strategies are likely
not to work nearly as well. The answer is to focus on new
strategies for growth and prosperity,” the report concluded.