Euromoney Awards for Excellence Middle East 2015
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Euromoney Awards for Excellence Middle East 2015

QNB named best bank in Middle East, HSBC dominates investment banking categories, in Euromoney Awards for Excellence Middle East 2015


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Photos from the awards ceremony

Leading figures from the banking and capital markets across the Middle East gathered in Dubai tonight to hear the announcement of Euromoney’s Middle East Awards for Excellence 2015.

Euromoney’s Middle East Awards, which have formed part of Euromoney’s global Awards for Excellence programme since their inception in 1992, are seen as the benchmark for the leading firms in financial services in the region.

QNB retained its title as best bank in the Middle East for the second consecutive year. Euromoney noted: “Clearly, QNB leads in Qatar. But it’s the international expansion of recent years that wins the group this award. Rather than just building offices and growing organically on the back of an internationally active Qatari client base, the pattern has been to buy into an existing enterprise and take advantage of the deep roots that come with it.”

Among the countries that QNB now has a substantial presence in are Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Iraq, Tunisia and Libya, as well as stakes in banks further afield such as Indonesia and Africa. As well as posting by some distance the most impressive financial results in the region, QNB has “approached the region with ambition and dedication”, Euromoney said.

An outstanding year in all areas of the capital markets and advisory business helps HSBC win the award for best investment bank in the Middle East, again retaining its title. “It is rare in any regional category to be able to say that the award could not have gone anywhere else, but this year HSBC was in a class of its own,” Euromoney said. “In the Middle East, this was possibly its strongest across-the-board showing yet.”

HSBC also wins the regional award for best debt capital markets house, a traditional strength in which it has been on most of the key transactions. But it has also had a stellar year in equity capital markets, with leading roles on a series of important – notably the landmark IPO of Saudi Arabia’s NCB – and also scoops the award for best ECM house in the Middle East.

In addition, HSBC was involved in a greater share of the biggest M&A deals in the region than ever before. And rounding out a banner year for the business, it regains the award for best transaction services house in the Middle East.

Other regional award winners included Standard Chartered, named both flow and risk house of the year in the Middle East, recognizing the strength of its on-the-ground presence and expertise in trading and risk advisory for clients. In a closely contested category, Citi won the award for best M&A house in the region, after winning mandates from prized Middle Eastern clients such as the QIA, DP World and Saudi Aramco.

In the country awards, a number of dominant local banks retained their crowns as best bank: Ahli United Bank in Bahrain, CIB in Egypt, Arab Bank in Jordan, NBK in Kuwait, Bank of Palestine in the Palestinian Territories, Bank Muscat in Oman and QNB in Qatar.

However, there were also a number of new winners. In the UAE, Emirates NBD was named best bank. Euromoney noted that the bank had got its previous bad loan problems firmly under control, and “now we can look afresh at the strength of the overall franchise, which is very good indeed. Right now, Dubai is a good place to be. Emirates NBD estimates it has 14% of the UAE’s personal loans business, 15% of auto loans, 17% of credit cards and 24% of debit cards, and dominates all of these categories within Dubai.”

The best bank in Saudi Arabia award this year goes to NCB, after its hugely successful IPO. Euromoney said: “NCB is the biggest bank in the country on every important metric: net loans, deposits, assets, equity and net income. But that’s not enough of a reason to win the award. It is also the best in terms of return on equity, at 20.1% in 2013, and among the leaders in return on assets. So as well as being big, it is increasingly efficient.”

As always, the award for best bank in Lebanon was very closely run. This year, Bank Audi edges out its perennial rival Blom Bank. In Iran, a country whose banking markets Euromoney has continued to write about despite the imposition of international sanctions, the best bank award goes to Bank Pasargad. Euromoney said that Pasargad “is the most professionally run bank of decent scale in Iran. It is, some smaller boutiques apart, the best example of a bank that western investors in a post-sanctions environment might look at and think: this is a bank we could do business with.”


Regional Middle East Awards for Excellence


Best bank

Best investment bank

Best debt house

Best equity house

Best M&A house

Best flow house

Best risk adviser

Best transactions services house



Country Awards for Excellence



















Palestinian Territories



Saudi Arabia




A full list of winners of Euromoney’s Middle East Awards for Excellence 2015, as well as detailed citations for all of the winners, is available on our website from 18:30 GMT on Wednesday, June 3, at the conclusion of our Awards Dinner in Dubai.

Euromoney’s award decisions are made by a committee of senior journalists, chaired by Euromoney’s editor, following the receipt of detailed submissions from market participants and extensive year-round research into the banking and capital markets in the region by our editors, journalists and research team.

For more information on the Middle East awards, please contact:

William Powell

Deputy Publisher




Clive Horwood



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