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Financial Services Sector Highlights

How Bahrain's banks are shifting towards sustainability and green finance

Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Helaissi

In this Global Platform video, Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Helaissi, Group CEO and Member of the Board of Gulf International Bank, discusses a sector-wide shift towards sustainability and the issuance of green bonds.

The Report: Kuwait 2022

Banking Analysis

An easing of disruptions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, a sustained increase in oil and gas receipts, and the rollout of a new law providing a framework for establishing digital offerings have given Kuwait’s banking sector renewed confidence that has been supported by the country’s wider economic recovery.

Special Reports on the Financial Services Sector

Transformation Report

Report: How has public-private collaboration boosted digital and cash transformation in the Bahamas?

Public-private collaboration aimed at boosting digital payments and reducing cash usage in the Bahamas has made gains in a relatively short timeframe. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, policymakers have invested in technological infrastructure on the supply side while incentivising digital payments on the demand side through a mixture of debit and credit cards, and cashless point-of-sale and person-to-person direct transfers.

ESG Report

Report: The financial sector's central role in tackling ESG issues in Mexico

Environmental, social and governance issues are a growing focus in Mexico, particularly social inclusion and transparency, followed by other governance and environmental matters. The financial sector has taken a leadership role in this space by pursuing voluntary initiatives to bolster anti-corruption efforts and encourage the adoption of ethics codes in the sectors in which it operates.

ESG Report

Report: The future of sustainable finance in Kuwait’s banking sector

The regulatory landscape for Gulf financial service providers is changing, with growing awareness of the need for banking institutions to adopt sustainable finance frameworks and responsible lending and operational practices in order to manage risk and attract international investment. By establishing sustainable finance frameworks, banking institutions are able to structure their sustainable lending practices and strengthen systemic safeguards against social and environmental risks, while also diversifying their funding sources and raising their international profile.

Focus Report

Focus Report: Post-pandemic trends and opportunities on African stock exchanges

Although stock exchanges on the continent were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, recovery is starting to take shape. The crisis underlined the need to build resilience and diversify the investor base. This Focus Report highlights the key trends and opportunities that have emerged in the financial sector, and showcases how market actors were able to support economies, investors and companies during the pandemic.

Report: How has public-private collaboration boosted digital and cash transformation in the Bahamas?
Report: The financial sector's central role in tackling ESG issues in Mexico
Report: The future of sustainable finance in Kuwait’s banking sector
Focus Report: Post-pandemic trends and opportunities on African stock exchanges
 

Financial Sector Analyses

The Report: Overview

How digitalisation will strengthen Kuwait's banking sector

An easing of disruptions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, a sustained increase in oil and gas receipts, and the rollout of a new law providing a framework for establishing digital offerings have given Kuwait’s banking sector a renewed confidence that has been supported by the country’s wider economic recovery


The Report: Analysis

Kuwait passes regulation to accelerate digital banking

The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) introduced new guidelines in February 2022 for establishing digital banks. These regulations reflect Kuwait’s efforts to support banking innovation for future economic development and financial stability. The new guidelines are expected to help the country’s banking sector keep pace with developments in global financial services.


The Report: Interview

Basel Al Haroon, Governor, Central Bank of Kuwait

Kuwait’s banking sector demonstrated its resilience during the global financial crisis and Covid-19 pandemic. The low interest-rate environment since 2020 and pandemic-related moratoriums have resulted in loan growth. As rates increase and borrowing becomes more expensive and therefore less attractive, growth is expected to slow while remaining...


The Report: Dialogue

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Jaber Al Sabah, Chairman, Commercial Bank of Kuwait; and George Richani, CEO, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

Banks are the backbone of Kuwait’s private sector and the economy. Although there is an economic diversification agenda in motion, the country is still dependent on hydrocarbons. Therefore, one of the things that banks can do to support economic diversification is to facilitate and support the development and growth of downstream...


The Report: Analysis

How consolidation is changing the GCC banking sector

The Gulf banking sector has witnessed an increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in recent years, as lenders continue to deal with the economic headwinds associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. At the outset of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 it was anticipated that the economic slowdown and the associated fall in oil prices would accelerate the M&A trend among banks in the region, with most institutions expecting constrained profitability despite performing well on risk indicators.


How Bahrain’s banks are embracing digitalisation and sustainability

Jean-Christophe Durand, CEO, National Bank of Bahrain

In this Global Platform video, Jean-Christophe Durand, CEO of the National Bank of Bahrain, discusses how the Covid-19 pandemic helped shift the focus to sustainability and digitalisation in Bahrain’s banking sector.

Financial Services in Emerging Markets

Economic Update

Could better reporting bolster ESG funds in emerging markets?

As financial markets experience significant headwinds in 2022, environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds saw their first net outflow since 2011. However, the energy transition, climate-related threats to food security and the search for long-term value could prompt a resurgence of sustainable investment in emerging markets. After global ESG funds enjoyed a record run from 2019 to 2021, growing by 98% and seeing net inflows of $25bn in 2020 and $35bn in 2021, net outflow from ESG funds in 2022...


Economic Update

Emerging Market Trends 2022: Payment Solutions

Even as the global economy grapples with inflation, supply chain constraints and high commodity prices, new payment solutions are helping billions in emerging markets access and deploy much-needed capital. Driven by a decline in cash payments during the Covid-19 pandemic, digital payments skyrocketed in line with the growth in e-commerce, as the financial technology (fintech) sector expanded to provide consumers with a wider variety of payment options. The growth of digital payments has been strongest...


Economic Update

Emerging markets lead uptake of cryptocurrency despite bear market

Despite global financial headwinds and significant declines in the value of cryptocurrencies this year, emerging markets are adopting the technology at a rapid pace.


Economic Update

Can the “buy now, pay later” model unlock e-commerce potential in emerging markets?

Building on the e-commerce momentum from the Covid-19 pandemic, the “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) model is one of the fastest-growing segments in consumer finance, particularly in emerging markets.


Economic View

George Richani, CEO, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

On leveraging innovative technologies to facilitate economic diversification and small business financing


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