Publication: Competition in the GCC SME Lending Markets: An Initial Assessment

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World Bank Group
The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have articulated a vision for sustainable economic development that highlights the need to diversify the productive base to reduce dependence on the hydrocarbon sector and create more employment opportunities for their young and growing population. This report analyzes how some key rules and regulations as well as institutional arrangements for the enforcement of competition law in the GCC may affect competition in the Small and medium enterprise (SME) lending markets. The findings of this report have several policy implications. This report identifies a number of areas where relevant regulations and institutional frameworks may impede competition in GCC SME lending markets, and require further investigation. Specific topics explored in this study include (i) restrictions to competition resulting from banking sector rules and regulations; (ii) the exercise of discretion by relevant institutions; and (iii) the role of institutional arrangements for the enforcement of competition law prohibitions and merger control. This assessment of the competition in the GCC’s SME lending markets proceeds as follows: Chapter 2 presents the SME banking markets in the GCC by discussing the number and ownership patterns of banks, and evaluating measures of concentration and market power. Chapter 3 presents the results of an initial screening of selected areas of regulatory intervention that affect SME lending markets. Chapter 4 evaluates the effectiveness of competition laws in the GCC countries. Chapter 5 concludes by highlighting areas where further analytical work may be warranted.
World Bank Group. 2016. Competition in the GCC SME Lending Markets; Competition in the GCC SME Lending Markets : An Initial Assessment. GCC Knowledge Series;. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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