Saudi Arabia Banking & Financial Services Q4 2018
We hold a positive outlook for Saudi Arabia's financial services sector over the next ten years. The sector presents anumber of opportunities to banks and investment companies looking to expand their operations and tap into the second largestconsumer market in the Middle East (after Egypt). Analysis of recent activity shows many large corporations seeking to takeadvantage of the country's ambitious economic reform agenda, which involves high levels of government spending and regulatoryreform. That said, we remain wary of subdued oil prices, which weigh heavily on the government's budget and consequently on itslong-term spending ability. We believe that in the long term, the government may be forced into expenditure cuts, which will reducedemand for investment advisory services. There is also potential for a decline in demand for consumer products in the commercialbanking and insurance sector, as deterioration of the macroeconomic environment weighs on purchasing power. The bankingsector's stable outlook, accompanied by the expected growth of the stock market and asset management industry, is expected toenhance the financial services sector performance and continue its growth, following the fall it experienced due to the slump of oilprices.The steady growth of the insurance sector is also expected to enhance and add to the financial services sector stability.
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