Saudi Arabia and the UAE dominate Forbes Top 50 Middle East Banks list

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Forbes Middle East has unveiled its “Top 50 Banks In The Middle East” list featuring the region’s financial giants that help drive the region’s economies. The 50 banks have a total value of $513.6 billion and assets worth $2.5 trillion.

The banks featured had a total value of $513.6 billion and assets worth $2.5 trillion. That is more than three times the GDP estimate of Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, according to Forbes. With 10 entries each, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have the most entries, followed by Qatar with eight, and Kuwait with six.

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The top three saw Qatar’s QNB Group hitting first place with sales of $13.5 billion and profits totaling $3.3 billion. Second was First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) with $7.6 billion in sales and profits of $2.9 billion. Saudi National Bank (SNB) was the third in the Middle East with profits of $3.1 billion and sales of $6.6 billion.

The region’s banking industry is in the midst of a consolidation phase, where some of the largest banks are merging to create larger banking groups, Forbes noted. In 2019, ADCB merged with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank to form the ADCB Group, which is the UAE’s third largest bank. In 2020, Dubai Islamic Bank, which was already the largest Islamic bank in the Emirates, merged with Noor Bank. Then in March 2021, Saudi’s National Commercial Bank announced a merger with Samba, which will create the one of the region’s most valuable bank.

To construct the list, Forbes gathered data from listed stock exchanges in the Arab world and ranked companies based on sales, profits, assets, and market value.

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