Arab banks remain stable despite regional uncertainty

Published August 5th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

The Arab World’s top 20 banks remained stable over the course of 2001, with some recording higher profitability at the end of the year. Despite the regional uncertainty associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, the positions of the top banks were virtually unchanged from the year before, reported The Banker


The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia (NCB) regained its position as the largest Arab bank in terms of tier one capital. The number of Arab banks in the top 1,000 banks worldwide increased from 84 in 2000 to 86 in 2001.  


Saudi Banks accounted for seven percent of the top 20 Arab banks, followed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) with five banks and the three major offshore banks of Bahrain. The only three non-Gulf Arab banks included in the top 20 were Arab Bank of Jordan, National Bank of Egypt and Commercial Bank of Syria, stated The Banker report. 


The Saudi American Bank was the top performer among the large Arab banks with a strong 26.8 percent return on equity, followed by Al Rajhi Banking and Investment with 23.4 percent. In Kuwait, the banks averaged 17.9 percent return on capital up from 16.2 percent in 2000, with National Bank of Kuwait maintaining its leading position at 26.5 percent. — (  

© 2002 Mena Report (

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