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Top 10 Performing Banks In The GCC

Top 10 Performing Banks In The GCC

Saudi Arabia’s banks post bumper profit growth and lead the region’s banking recovery.

This year’s crop of GCC banking results reflected a general trend of modest recovery across the region. After the torrent of the global financial crisis, Gulf banks are in a better position than many of their international counterparts.

For the Top Performing Banks Survey, Gulf Business compared H1 2011 and H1 2012 profits and ranked the GCC banks with the highest percentage of growth. We compared the profits for the Top 50 Banks In The GCC By Assets 2011.

It comes as no surprise that four out of five of the highest-ranking banks are based in Saudi Arabia.

“The banks in the Kingdom have a good track record of maintaining strong asset quality and adapting adequate lending practices and underwriting standards,” Sheetal Kothari, research analyst, business and financial services practice, Frost & Sullivan, told Gulf Business.

Most of the top ten profit growers came in from a lower base than their weightier counterparts, however the mammoth profit jumps are evidence of a grassroots regional recovery as banks in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar feel the buoying effects of mega-government spending sprees.

1. Bank Albilad: 385%

Saudi Arabia’s second-smallest bank by market value packs a punch when it comes to profits. Bank Albilad tops the list with 385 per cent growth.

The Saudi bank, which specialises in Islamic finance products for retail and investment banking, reported half-year profits of $177.3 million, up from $36.5 million last year.

Bank Albilad’s impressive growth is reflected by its ascendant share price, which has more than doubled in the last year, hitting over 30 Riyals in August. The Riyadh-based banks’s shares rose in February when it signed a deal with the government to accelerate home lending.

“Bank Albilad’s profits in 1H2012 went up largely from non-operating income from the sale of land and hence the growth in net income amounts to 385 per cent year on year (YoY). The bank realised income from sale of land to the tune of SAR 373 million in Feb 2012. The second installment is expected to be reflected in Q3 results,” said M.R. Raghu, vice president of research at Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

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