The Changing Financial Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges for the Middle East and North Africa

39 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

Date Written: May 2003

Abstract

Economists have come to acknowledge that finance matters for development more, and in more ways than had been recognized for a long time. Changes in the financial services industry are providing immense possibilities for economic development. Grais and Kantur present a framework to help understand the changes occurring in the financial landscape. They also attempt to lay out the opportunities and the challenges the Middle East and Northern Africa region faces in light of these changes.

The framework views financial development as a two-way, continuous, and dynamic interaction between, on the one hand, three driving forces shaping the industry and, on the other hand, four stylized dimensions of financial services. These driving forces jointly modify the financial landscape and are at the same time influenced by the effects of these changes. The three driving forces are financial liberalization, technological changes, and market innovation in response to demands for financial services. The four dimensions of financial services that are altered by the forces at play are disintermediation, institutionalization, modernization, and globalization. The authors provide a strategic perspective on the opportunities and challenges the profound changes in the financial industry bring to the Middle East and North Africa region, its policymakers, and market participants.

This paper - a product of the Financial Sector Operations and Policy Department - is part of a larger effort in the department to understand the changes in financial services within the context of the Middle East and North Africa region.

Suggested Citation

Grais, Wafik and Kantur, Zeynep, The Changing Financial Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges for the Middle East and North Africa (May 2003). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3050. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636412

Wafik Grais (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Zeynep Kantur

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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