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Credit Rating Strategies: A Study of GCC Banks

posted on 2020-01-31, 21:50 authored by Y. Sree Rama MurthyY. Sree Rama Murthy, Saeed Al-Muharrami


It is difficult to predict when the next financial crisis will happen. Identifying financial strategies, which help a bank to survive a crisis, is the main purpose of the paper. This paper examines the financial strategies of those banks, which managed to retain good credit ratings both before and after the global financial crisis, so as to throw light on the characteristics of banks which managed to remain steady and stable.


This paper analyses Fitch credit ratings of 51 banks Islamic and commercial banks operating in GCC, divided into pre global financial crisis (2002 to 2007) and post global financial crisis (2008 to 2013) periods. Trend and behavior of average ratios of top rated banks in both the periods is first attempted before moving to “Ordered Choice Logit” regression method to further analyze the data.


Size and cost management are very important factors in ratings, both before and after the financial crisis. As long as asset quality is under control, liquidity is the focal point in achieving good ratings. Top rated Islamic banks seem to be following a strategy of allowing capital ratios to trend down during a crisis as long as capital is well above the regulatory requirements.

Originality and Value

The paper is the first of its kind which examines credit rating strategies of Islamic banks as well as commercial banks. The findings of the paper are extremely important for banks as they throw light on appropriate strategies to be adopted by banks during crises.


Declaration of conflicts of interest

No potential conflict of interest as the authors are from an independent research institution

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Oman

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Faculty 4-yr College

Lead author institution


Human Participants

  • No


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