This chapter includes the following articles.
In a lower oil price environment such as the one that has persisted since late 2014, banking sectors in the GCC find themselves under heightened scrutiny. Kuwait is no exception, but where other banking sectors in the region have been compelled to face sizeable cutbacks in government spending, the nation’s deep reserves have enabled it to defend the development pipeline on which so much of the industry’s business depends. Although challenges through 2016 put pressures on profits and credit growth, these were not seen as threats to sector stability. Nevertheless, challenges remain. The recent economic downturn has highlighted the sector’s dependence on government spending, while an increasingly comprehensive regulatory environment is starting to affect some of the industry’s key ratios. Exploiting untapped areas of the economy and seeking new efficiencies are therefore emerging as the key priorities for the industry in the year ahead.
This chapter contains an interview with Mohammad Y Al Hashel, Governor, Central Bank of Kuwait.