Economic growth across the GCC region weakened last year as governments’ revenues fell. This in turn negatively impacted the commercial and corporate sectors while consumer confidence and spending weakened. As a result, the GCC banking sector recorded lower returns in 2016, particularly due to increased provisioning and impairment charges as loan asset quality remained under pressure.

As a result of tighter liquidity, banks issued more debt in 2016 and this is continuing in 2017. Another option used by many banks has been to tap the international syndicated loan market to refinance maturing debt. Many investors (notably in Asia, but also in the US and Europe, where interest rates are low) have been willing to increase their exposure to GCC sovereigns and banks, due to high credit ratings and good yields. This is set to continue.

Basel III implications for liquidity are significant for most GCC banks as there is a large maturity mismatch between medium-term lending and short-term customer deposits. Some banks have started to issue longer-tenor debt to reduce this mismatch.

Overall, GCC banks’ financial fundamentals remain sound. Bank capital ratios are solid and a number of banks issued new Tier 1 and Tier 2 type capital securities in 2016 as part of the Basel III framework.

BANK ASSETS NET PROFIT($000) RANK COUNTRY
Qatar National Bank 197,718,273 3,407,769 1 Qatar
Emirates NBD 121,972,233 1,970,913 2 UAE
National Commercial Bank 117,731,019 2,510,889 3 KSA
National Bank of Abu Dhabi 114,542,200 1,441,885 4 UAE
Al Rajhi Banking Corporation 90,589,818 2,166,923 5 KSA
National Bank of Kuwait 79,085,342 1,019,964 6 Kuwait
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank 70,321,061 1,131,791 7 UAE
First Gulf Bank 66,732,443 1,652,546 8 UAE
Samba 61,730,290 1,334,843 9 KSA
Riyad Bank 58,031,734 891,330 10 KSA
Banque Saudi Fransi 54,247,656 936,062 11 KSA
Kuwait Finance House 53,910,645 529,126 12 Kuwait
Saudi British Bank 49,614,905 1,038,595 13 KSA
Dubai Islamic Bank 47,636,947 1,102,655 14 UAE
Arab National Bank 45,335,659 763,167 15 KSA
Qatar Islamic Bank 38,415,969 579,869 16 Qatar
Commercial Bank of Qatar 35,818,760 137,741 17 Qatar
Mashreqbank 33,436,846 531,966 18 UAE
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank 33,294,235 531,870 19 UAE
Ahli United Bank 31,322,484 624,310 20 Bahrain
Arab Banking Corporation 30,141,000 234,000 21 Bahrain
Union National Bank 28,291,749 430,868 22 UAE
Bank Muscat 28,104,000 458,597 23 Oman
Alawwal Bank 28,018,800 283,927 24 KSA
Alinma Bank 27,927,963 400,606 25 KSA
Saudi Investment Bank 25,163,066 280,789 26 KSA
Al Rayan 25,145,879 570,055 27 Qatar
Doha Bank 24,825,535 289,500 28 Qatar
Burgan Bank 23,750,616 218,085 29 Kuwait
Albaraka Bank Group 23,425,265 267,636 30 Bahrain
Gulf International Bank 22,905,800 37,300 31 Bahrain
Gulf Bank 17,863,470 140,314 32 Kuwait
Bank Al Jazira 17,685,165 232,518 33 KSA
Commercial Bank of Dubai 17,446,168 273,091 34 UAE
Al Khaliji Commercial Bank 16,647,596 117,193 35 Qatar
Bank Al Bilad 14,371,358 215,739 36 KSA
Al Ahli Bank Kuwait 14,000,369 106,231 37 Kuwait
Commercial Bank of Kuwait 13,479,134 164,686 38 Kuwait
Barwa Bank 12,651,011 202,968 39 Qatar
Qatar International Islamic Bank 11,689,824 215,596 40 Qatar
RAKBANK 11,573,708 180,500 41 UAE
Boubyan Bank 11,359,892 134,750 42 Kuwait
Noor Bank 10,744,478 152,690 43 UAE
Bank Dhofar 10,265,036 123,693 44 Oman
Bank of Bahrain Kuwait 9,847,321 150,924 45 Bahrain
National Bank of Fujairah 9,710,895 125,359 46 UAE
National Bank of Oman 9,175,800 144,880 47 Oman
Sharjah Islamic Bank 9,131,289 126,024 48 UAE
Ithmaar Bank 8,341,310 13,798 49 Bahrain
National Bank of Bahrain 7,917,830 154,880 50 Bahrain