The nexus between financial sector, banking system, and economic growth has been one of the most heavily researched areas for many years. In particular, financial and banking sectors’ development has been found to play an important role in economic growth, but in the meantime domestic banking inefficiency has been reported to slow down that growth. Equally important is the role of foreign banks in mitigating banking and financial inefficiencies The aim of this work is to combine and investigate the interests of both foreign banks and policy makers. For the former it provides a better understanding of what factors have more effect on profitability; and for the latter the findings could help to enhance the functioning of their countries’ financial systems and thereby the economic growth. The first part examines the profitability of foreign banks in nine MENA economies. The second part investigates the nexus between financial development and economic growth in MENA region. This work was supervised by Umberto Filotto, Professor of Banking Management and Corporate Finance, faculty of economics, university of Rome Tor Vergata.