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Publication date: 5 June 2020

Sherif Nabil Mahrous, Nagwa Samak and Mamdouh Abdelmoula M. Abdelsalam

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of monetary policy on bank risk in the banking system in some MENA countries. It explores how some economic and credit…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of monetary policy on bank risk in the banking system in some MENA countries. It explores how some economic and credit indicators affect the level of risk in the banking sector. It combines many factors that could affect banks’ risk appetite such as macroeconomic conditions, banks’ credit size and lending growth. The authors use nonperforming loans as a proxy for banking sector risks. At first, the authors have analyzed the linear relationship between monetary policy and credit risk. As mentioned above, nonlinearity is expected in the underlying relationship, and, thus, they have investigated the nonlinear relationship to deeply analyse the relationship using the dynamic panel threshold model, as stimulated by Kremer et al. (2013). Threshold models have gained a great importance in economics and finance for modelling nonlinear behaviour. Threshold models are useful in showing the turning points in the behaviour of financial and economic indicators. This technique has been applied in this study to study the effect of monetary policy on credit risk.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is divided into the following sections: Section 2 which previews the recent literature; Section 3 which includes some stylized facts about the relationship between credit risk and monetary policy; Section 4 which deals with the model and methodology; Section 5 which handles the data sources and discusses the results, and finally Section 6 which is the conclusion. The paper adopts dynamic panel threshold model of Kremer et al. (2013).

Findings

The results show that the relationship between monetary policy and credit risk is positive and significant to a certain threshold, 6.3. If the lending interest rate is higher than 6.3, this increases the credit risk in the banking sector, because increasing the lending interest rate imposes huge burdens on the borrowers, and, therefore, the bad loans and nonperforming loans become more likely. Thus, the MENA countries need to decrease the lending interest rate to be less than 6.3 to reduce the effect of monetary policy on credit risk. Further, these results are qualitatively robust regarding the inclusion of additional control variables, using alternative threshold variables and further endogeneity checks of the credit risk, such as Risk premium and the squared term of the lending interest rate. The results of taking the risk premium and the squared term of the lending interest rate as a threshold served the analysis and confirmed the positive relationship between monetary policy and credit risk above a certain threshold. As for the risk premium, the relationship below the threshold was negative and significant. Other related research points might be a good avenue for the future research such as applying this approach to micro data of banks from different MENA countries. Also, more sophisticated approaches like time-varying panel approach to assess the relationship over the time can be applied.

Originality/value

The importance of this paper lies in the fact that it does not only study the effect of time, but it also focuses on the panel data about some economic and credit indicators in the MENA region for the first time. This is because central banks in the MENA region have common characteristics and congruous level of economic growth. Therefore, to study how the monetary policy affects those countries’ credit risks in their lending policies, this requires careful analysis of how the central banks in this region might behave to control default risks.

Details

Review of Economics and Political Science, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2356-9980

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