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DOHA: Qatari banking sector is leading the way in the Middle East’s Tier 1 growth. A top ‘Arab banks ranking’ conducted by the reputed The Banker journal showed impressive Tier 1 growth among Middle East and North Africa’s (Mena) banks, with the Qatari banking sector leading the growth, accounting for three of the top five Arab banks by Tier 1 growth.
The aggregate Tier 1 capital of the 100 Arab banks in the Arab banks ranking of 2012 has grown by an impressive 15.3 percent, from $166.9bn at the end of 2010 to $192.5bn at the end of 2011. This is almost double the 8.7 percent growth seen in last year’s ranking, according to the journal.
The Top 100 Arab banks ranking included 28 banks that had experienced double-digit increases in Tier 1, suggesting strong growth in Middle East and North Africa. Just 15 of the 100 banks recorded decreases in Tier 1 compared to last year.
Of the top five Arab banks, three institutions are from Qatar, with Bahrain’s Kuwait Finance House Bahrain and United Arab Emirate’s Al Hilal Bank making up the list.
The top ranking bank by Tier 1 growth is Qatar National Bank, which recorded nearly 75 percent growth. It has $8.15bn of Tier 1 capital, placing it second behind Saudi Arabia’s National Commerical Bank in the “Top Arab banks ranking’ by Tier 1 capital. National Commerical Bank has $9.15bn of Tier 1 capital and recorded a 10 percent increase from last year.
“Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank has retained its crown as the largest Arab bank as measured by Tier 1 capital. In second place is Qatar National Bank (QNB), which jumped from 11th position last year to second in this year’s table. Indeed, QNB is the star performer in this year’s top 100 Arab ranking. It also sits at the top of the ranking in terms of profitability – recording pre-tax profits of $2bn – as well as by asset size, with assets totalling $82.95bn, bumping the UAE’s Emirates NBD off the top spot. In fact, today QNB ranks as the largest bank by assets across the entire Middle East and north Africa region, as well as boasting the largest loan book in the region. Its 35.17 percent growth in assets during 2011 was driven largely by its 47.3 percent expansion in its loan portfolio,” The Banker said.