Gulf banks are expected to continue their steady recovery from the global financial crisis this year, aided by healthy economic growth in the GCC and high oil prices, says Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on 20 March.

S&P forecasts an average 4.6% GDP growth in the GCC for 2013, which should keep demand for bank credit high and expand banks’ earnings, said the ratings agency. “We believe strong bank lending on the back of corporate and infrastructure growth will help expand revenues of banks in Saudi Arabia, and Qatar,” commented S&P credit analyst Timucin Engin. “Specifically, we expect average lending growth to remain above the 10% level for Saudi Arabia.” (CONTINUED - 267 WORDS)