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Middle East

National Bank of Kuwait advances through technology. Samba gets ready for regional expansion. Lebanon's banks continue to struggle. Chris Cockerill


Best domestic bank: Commercial International Bank

Best foreign bank: Citibank

Best domestic securities house: EFG-Hermes

In terms of assets and total equity four banks dominate the Egyptian banking sector: National Bank of Egypt, Banque du Caire, Bank of Alexandria and Banque Misr, accounting for 60% of the market's assets and 40% of the sector's total capital base. Compared with the smaller private banks, the four banks underperform because of overstaffing, exposure to public sector loans and the need to modernize their systems. The average ROAA (return on average assets) of the four banks is 0.52%, compared with Commercial International Bank, which has an ROAA of over 2%. The smaller private banks are providing stiffer competition and increasing their market share in the retail and corporate markets.

Commercial International Bank, the first Egyptian bank to be privatized, is described by Capital Intelligence as flexible and progressive. It is the largest private bank, and fifth largest in terms of assets overall.

For the sixth year running, CIB is the most profitable bank in Egypt, reporting net profits of $103 million, up 13% on the previous year.

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