Presentations and Articles

  • GCC banking over the past 40 years
    Here is an analysis of how banking in the GCC has changed over the past 40 years, with two tables showing the biggest banks in 2019 and in 1988.
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  • Lebanon’s financial crisis
    Here is my review of recent events in Lebanon. Written in August 2021, it remains relevant as the Lebanese crisis deepens.
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  • Kuwait’s budgetary challenges
    In this article from the September 2021 edition of Arab Banker, I reviewed Kuwait’s short-term and long-term budgetary challenges.
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  • GCC banks withstand the pressure of the Covid pandemic
    Here is my annual review of GCC banking, including a list of the biggest 50 GCC banks, published in Arab Banker magazine.
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  • Climate change and banks
    In this article, I analysed how bank regulators’ thinking on climate change risks has been evolving, and I drew attention to some important recent publications.
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  • Preparing for the long battle against Covid
    Here is an article from the September 2021 edition of Arab Banker on how Middle Eastern governments have been responding to the pandemic.
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  • Algeria’s banking system
    Algeria’s archaic banking system is not well placed to cope with the country’s current upheaval. Here is an article I wrote for Arab Banker about the current state of Algeria’s banks and their challenges for the future.
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  • GCC Mergers and Acquisitions
    One quarter of GCC commercial banks have been engaged in M&A activity over the last two years. Here’s a summary of recent developments that I wrote for Arab Banker in 2019. It includes a list and ranking of the biggest 50 GCC banks.
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  • Fintech: disruptive or not
    Here is an article that I wrote for Arab Banker about fintech, and whether or not it will be as disruptive as its apostles believe. The article has a list of useful references.
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  • Economic Reforms in Abu Dhabi
    There was a collective sign of relief when the Crown Prince announced an economic stimulus package in mid-2017. Here is an article I wrote for Arab Banker on the proposed measures and the prospects for the Abu Dhabi economy.
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  • Saudi Budget 2018: Heading in the right direction
    Here’s a quick analysis on the Saudi budget statement that I wrote for the Arab Bankers Association website.
    Click here to see the analysis
  • Analysis of the Syrian Banking System
    Here are two of my analyses of the Syrian banking system. Vol2 No3 focuses on banking activity during the crisis and Vol2 No 4 estimates the cost of recapitalising the state-owned banks.
    Click here to read Vol2 No3
    Click here to read Vol2 No4
  • Recent Developments in Saudi banking
    Here is an article that I wrote for Arab Banker on recent developments in Saudi banking. It includes statistical tables.
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  • Egypt and the IMF: A long way to go
    Here is an article I wrote for the Arab Banker about developments in the Egyptian economy since the IMF agreement in late 2016. Lots of statistics here too.
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  • 2016 GCC Banks Listing and Ratios
    Here is my listing of the summary financials and performance ratios of the 75 active GCC commercial banks. The summary financials show end-2015, end-2014 and end-2012, and the ratios refer to 2015 and 2014.
    Click here to see the listing
  • Iranian Bank Survey, February 2016
    Here is Darien Analytics 2016 survey of Iranian banks. It contains statistics on 26 individual banks and on the banking system as a whole, comparisons with other regional banking systems, and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities that Iranian banks will face in the years ahead.
    Click here to read the 2016 report
    Click here to read a report on Iranian banks we wrote in 2012
  • Risk Management and Compliance for Islamic Banks
    This is a briefing that I wrote for the Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions on recent trends in banks’ risk management and compliance practices, with particular reference to how they can be applied in Islamic Banks.
    Click here to read the report
  • Decline of Correspondent Banking
    Here is an article I wrote for the Arab Banker on the decline of correspondent banking relationships and how it is affecting emerging markets.
    Click here to read the article
  • Darien Analytics GCC Commercial Bank Performance Ranking 2015
    Darien Analytics is pleased to present its annual performance ranking for GCC commercial banks. This year we again analyse the performance of 74 commercial banks, but there are some newcomers compared to last year and some who are left out. We’ve also included an analysis of Islamic banks’ performance relative to conventional banks.
    Click here to read the report
  • Moroccan banks: More good news
    The Moroccan banking system is not as well known as it should be. It is well regulated, healthy, and interesting things are happening there. Here is an overview of the Moroccan banking system, including statistics for the big banks, that I wrote for the Arab Banker magazine in September 2015.
    Click here to read the article
  • New Analysis of Shari’a-complaint bank finance in Saudi Arabia
    Here’s a detailed analysis of the percentage of financing by Saudi banks that is Shari’a-compliant. It is based on the banks’ own financial statements and shows that about two thirds of bank financing is Shari’a-compliant and that such financing has been growing at 14% per year.
    Click here to read the analysis
  • Assessing the Cyprus Bail-Out
    The financial assistance package for Cyprus has expanded the range of bank creditors who may be expected to bear losses as part of any future Euro-zone funded bank bail-outs. Here is my analysis of the policy implications of bail-out, and a comment on the Cyprus’s Russian connection that draws on my personal experience of living in Cyprus in the 1990s.
    Click here to read Financial Market Briefing Vol 2 No 2
  • The Regulatory Agenda for 2013
    The latest issue of Darien Analytics’ Financial Market Briefing describes the current financial regulatory agenda in Europe, with a particular focus on the latest proposals for a common European bank supervisor. A Client Annex summarises regulatory proposals for bank restucturing.
    Click here to read Financial Market Briefing Vol 2 No1
    Click here to read Client Annex
  • Analysis of Iranian Banks
    Darien Middle East has been keen to bring to Iranian banks the kind of analysis which we have done on Gulf banks. Here is our preliminary listing of Iranian banks and an analysis of current trends.
    Click here to see the full report
  • Just for Fun: Middle East Politics 1948 – 2007
    This is an article which I circulated privately to friends in April 2007 posing the question, “Is the war in Iraq the most significant event in the Middle East since the creation of the state of Israel?” In answering the question I identified and ranked what I thought have been the most important events in the Middle East since 1948. Do you agree with my ranking?
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