Evaluating productive efficiency
: comparative study of commercial banks in Gulf countries

  • Abdel Anouze

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Financial institutes are an integral part of any modern economy. In the 1970s and 1980s, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries made significant progress in financial deepening and in building a modern financial infrastructure. This study aims to evaluate the performance (efficiency) of financial institutes (banking sector) in GCC countries. Since, the selected variables include negative data for some banks and positive for others, and the available evaluation methods are not helpful in this case, so we developed a Semi Oriented Radial Model to perform this evaluation. Furthermore, since the SORM evaluation result provides a limited information for any decision maker (bankers, investors, etc...), we proposed a second stage analysis using classification and regression (C&R) method to get further results combining SORM results with other environmental data (Financial, economical and political) to set rules for the efficient banks, hence, the results will be useful for bankers in order to improve their bank performance and to the investors, maximize their returns.
Mainly there are two approaches to evaluate the performance of Decision Making Units (DMUs), under each of them there are different methods with different assumptions. Parametric approach is based on the econometric regression theory and nonparametric approach is based on a mathematical linear programming theory. Under the nonparametric approaches, there are two methods: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Free Disposal Hull (FDH). While there are three methods under the parametric approach: Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA); Thick Frontier Analysis (TFA) and Distribution-Free Analysis (DFA).
The result shows that DEA and SFA are the most applicable methods in banking sector, but DEA is seem to be most popular between researchers. However DEA as SFA still facing many challenges, one of these challenges is how to deal with negative data, since it requires the assumption that all the input and output values are non-negative, while in many applications negative outputs could appear e.g. losses in contrast with profit. Although there are few developed Models under DEA to deal with negative data but we believe that each of them has it is own limitations, therefore we developed a Semi-Oriented-Radial-Model (SORM) that could handle the negativity issue in DEA.
The application result using SORM shows that the overall performance of GCC banking is relatively high (85.6%). Although, the efficiency score is fluctuated over the study period (1998-2007) due to the second Gulf War and to the international financial crisis, but still higher than the efficiency score of their counterpart in other countries. Banks operating in Saudi Arabia seem to be the highest efficient banks followed by UAE, Omani and Bahraini banks, while banks operating in Qatar and Kuwait seem to be the lowest efficient banks; this is because these two countries are the most affected country in the second Gulf War. Also, the result shows that there is no statistical relationship between the operating style (Islamic or Conventional) and bank efficiency. Even though there is no statistical differences due to the operational style, but Islamic bank seem to be more efficient than the Conventional bank, since on average their efficiency score is 86.33% compare to 85.38% for Conventional banks. Furthermore, the Islamic banks seem to be more affected by the political crisis (second Gulf War), whereas Conventional banks seem to be more affected by the financial crisis.
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAli Emrouznejad (Supervisor) & Emmanuel Thanassoulis (Supervisor)


  • productivity
  • efficiency
  • GCC bank performance
  • parametric approach
  • nonparametric approach
  • semi-parametric approach

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