Middle East Awards
|Headline: Middle East Awards
Date: July 2000
Author: Chris Cockerill
Best Domestic Bank: National Bank of Kuwait
Best Foreign Bank: Citibank
National Bank of Kuwait wins the award for best local bank. It is dominant in its local market but is not complacent. It has developed a reputation for being one of the most highly advanced in terms of technology, offering a variety of electronic banking platforms. In conjunction with Visa it offers the e-card, the first internet-only shopping card.
The bank has a very strong domestic franchise and is now expanding cautiously throughout the region by developing its retail and private banking arms. In May this year it successfully bought into the Egyptian market, acquiring the Misr American International Bank. Further expansion of its 18 branches outside of Kuwait is expected.
NBK also participated in some international issues, such as the privatization of Telecom Eireann and the flotation of Goldman Sachs shares.
Citibank is present throughout the Middle East and the Levant including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Where it is not allowed to establish a branch or majority-owned subsidiary it still has a presence, notably in Saudi Arabia with its 23% stake in Saudi American Bank.