In The Asian Banker Strongest Banks By Balance Sheet evaluation for 2018, the top 10 strongest banks in the Middle East included seven Saudi banks, two United Arab Emirates (UAE) banks, one Kuwaiti bank and one Lebanese bank. When measured on an asset-weighted basis, banks in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar achieved the highest average strength score at 3.83, 3.69 and 3.56 out of five, respectively, while banks in Oman and Jordan underperformed their peers, with the lowest average strength score at 2.90 and 3.02 out of five, respectively.
Overall, Saudi banks delivered better financial performance than banks in other countries in the Middle East, although Saudi Arabia was the only Middle Eastern country that saw its banks’ balance sheet growth shrink in 2017. On average, their net loans edged down by 1.1%, mainly because the economic slowdown cut demand for loans. Nevertheless, banks in Saudi Arabia have strong profitability. The weighted average return on assets of Saudi banks on the list stood at 2%, which was the highest in the region. Meanwhile, they maintained strong capitalisation, with the average capital adequacy ratio increasing to 20.5% in 2017 and their asset quality stayed relatively sound despite the challenging operating environment.
For a full explanation of the evaluation criteria please click here.
Please click to return to the AB 500 page.
Click to toggle ranking by category "up" and "down"