Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has said banks in the GCC region have capitalisation that generally exceeds their international peers,' Gulf Times has reported. According to S&P's risk-adjusted capital (RAC) framework, which it uses to measure banks' capital adequacy, the average RAC ratio for GCC banks stood in the 12%-13% range in December 201, about 5% higher than the 7.4% average the firm projected for the 100 largest banks it rates in September 2011. "We believe there are two primary factors underlying GCC banks strong capitalisation metrics," said S&P credit analyst Paul-Henri Pruvost. "First, banks in all GCC countries, except Saudi Arabia, must maintain regulatory capital adequacy ratios above 10%. In addition, GCC banks tend to operate with substantial headroom ranging from 3% to 23% for the banks we rate," he said.