Fahad Al Mubarak, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), told reporters that the GCC banking sector is very strong, has low exposure to European banks, and is well capitalised.
"The GCC banks in general and the Saudi banks in particular are strong and there is a high level of coordination among the central bank governors in the region to apply the highest criteria of international regulations," Al Mubarak said.
He added that in the 2008 financial crisis "the GCC governments did not bail out any bank in the region because of our strong and strict banking regulations."
‘We will be prudent'
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"The Mena capital adequacy is well capitalised and our banks are strong enough, which helps our banking and financial institutions to be stable in spite of all global financial and economic challenges," he said.
"We also comply with Basel II and III and the banking system in Saudi Arabia is strong and we will be prudent with our regulations and rules to secure and save our economies."
Salem Al Sabah, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, said that Kuwait as well as other GCC countries are not exposed to the Eurozone crisis.
"Our exposure to Eur-ope is very limited," he said, due to rigorous risk and capital management requirements designed to ensure capital reserves appropriate to the risk the bank is exposed to.
"We in the GCC, and particularly in Kuwait, have a high level of liquidity, and we as central banks have absorbed the cash surpluses in the market."
The two governors were speaking in a press conference following a meeting of the FSB (Financial Stability Board) in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Al Mubarak lauded the cooperation between the Mena banks and the FSB, which operates as a bridge between governments and regulatory commissions.
"The FSB regulations should apply to the securities market, banks, central banks and insurance companies," he said.
Asked if financial assistance to states involved in the Arab Spring had been discussed, Al Mubarak said: "We did not discuss any countries in these meetings.
"We discussed general regulations, and as per Europe, we did not discuss any specific matter related to any country."
Ready to meet rise in oil demand
The Saudi governor told Gulf News that that the "kingdom is ready to meet any rise in oil demand".
"Saudi Arabia has a capacity excess of 2.5 million barrels per day," said Fahad Al Mubarak, adding that throughout the past year, oil prices had been ‘stable'.
"We will bring balance to the market in order not to destabilise prices," he said.
For his part, Salem Al Sabah, Central Bank Governor of Kuwait, said: "If there is little economic growth in the European market, there will be a decline in demand for oil.
"The time frame for European countries is very important to solve their financial and economic issues," he said.
"If growth in the Eurozone's economy goes up, demand for oil will increase," Al Sabah added.