Moody's: 2015 Outlook for GCC banks stable, negative for rest of MENA region

The 2015 outlook for GCC banks is stable, but it is negative for those in the rest of the MENA region, says Moody's Investors Service. The stable outlook for GCC banks is driven by strong operating conditions coupled with expansionary fiscal policies and continued infrastructure spending, which remain supportive of credit growth. However, declining oil prices if prolonged at these levels will reduce fiscal surpluses, affect economic confidence and moderate growth expectations. The negative outlook for the rest of the MENA region reflects more subdued credit growth and unsettled domestic environments, which translate into high credit risks. In addition the high exposure to low-rated government securities links non-GCC banks' credit profiles to their respective sovereigns.