Middle East’s best bank 2021: Emirates NBD
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Middle East’s best bank 2021: Emirates NBD

It was the kind of year when solidity and stability mattered above all else, and Emirates NBD had both of those in spades. Under group chief executive Shayne Nelson, the Dubai-based lender is in pole position to benefit from a post-pandemic recovery, as a region of resource-rich nations, governed by ambitious leaders, seeks to diversify away from oil and gas.

Net profit fell to Dh7 billion ($1.91 billion) in 2020, as Covid hit, but total income rose 4% year on year to Dh23.2 billion, as a positive contribution from Turkey’s DenizBank, now controlled by Emirates NBD, offset by losses from lower interest rates and non-funded income. Total assets rose 2% on an annualized basis, to Dh698 billion, with customer deposits virtually flat at just over Dh464 billion. Non-performing loans ticked up very slightly, but not enough to concern a conservatively run and highly capitalized lender with a common equity tier-1 ratio of 15% at the end of 2020.