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Awards for excellence - Qatar

Best bank

Qatar National Bank

Last year Qatar National Bank shared the best bank award with Commercial Bank of Qatar. This year it wins outright.

One analyst's impression neatly sums up its strengths: "It is fairly easy to pick out Qatar National Bank as the clear leader in its market," he says. "It's the largest bank in the country, it has very strong financials, a very big customer base, good cost controls and good technology systems."

QNB is 50% government-owned, with the remaining share in the hands of Qataris. Its size and ownership make it the main banker to the government. It has 28 domestic branches, as well as offices in London and Paris.

QNB's prospects are heavily bound up with the state of the economy and the government's performance. Counting against it in observers' eyes is the fact that decision-making may be influenced by political considerations and its over-reliance on the local market for lending. But the bank has been working to increase its corporate business and has been looking to strengthening its project finance and syndication abilities. A recent innovation has been telephone and internet banking.

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