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Financial stability of Islamic banking and the global financial crisis: Evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council

Faisal Alqahtani and David Mayes

Economic Systems, 2018, vol. 42, issue 2, 346-360

Abstract: Using a sample of 76 banks from the Gulf Cooperation Council region, we use accounting- as well as market-based measures of financial stability to examine whether Islamic banks outperformed conventional banks in the time of financial shocks during the period 2000–2013. We find that the difference between the two banking types was initially not significant during the GFC. However, when the financial shock spread to the real economy during the later phases of the crisis, Islamic banks suffered a significantly higher level of financial instability than conventional banks. This result holds true for large banks but not for small Islamic banks. Small Islamic banks demonstrated a relatively better handling of the economic downturn than large Islamic banks, supporting the argument that Islamic banks are more stable when they operate at a small scale but lose this stability when they increase their scale of operations. Hence, while Islamic banks may have escaped the consequences of highly volatile financial instruments, they were not spared from a major shock in the real economic sectors.

Keywords: Financial stability; Global financial crisis (GFC); Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); Islamic banking; Distance to default; Z score (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G01 G21 G28 G32 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:42:y:2018:i:2:p:346-360