Bloomberg News

Standard Chartered Says Some European Banks May Cut MENA Lending

December 15, 2011

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Companies in the Middle East and North Africa may increasingly rely on regional banks, asset and bond sales to refinance loans as the debt crisis forces European banks to curtail lending, Standard Chartered Plc said.

The decline in liquidity and a shortage of U.S. dollars may create “tensions” for some Middle East companies as they seek to refinance debt in the next 12 to 36 months, Viswanathan Shankar, who was appointed to Standard Chartered’s board on Dec. 12, spoke in an interview in Dubai today.

Shankar said he wouldn’t be “worried” about Dubai’s refinancing needs as the economic levers that drive the emirate are doing well and it benefited from the political unrest in other parts of the Middle East. Shankar will be the bank’s group executive director from Jan. 1.

Standard Chartered’s revenue in the Middle East and South Asia grew at “high single-digits” in 2011 and profitability improved, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at

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