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Awards for excellence - Bahrain

Best bank

National Bank of Bahrain

National Bank of Bahrain continues to keep a firm grip in Bahrain. This is the third year in a row it has held the award for best bank.

It continues to impress observers and analysts with its dominant franchise in the local market, where it has a 26% market share. It also has the largest domestic network of 24 branches.

National Bank of Bahrain is also seen as innovative and operating with a good technology base. Management is experienced and well regarded for its focus on building its core business of loans and deposits. The bank has a good financial profile with good asset quality and high liquidity. It has also established consistent profits and return on equity.

It has built a reputation for strong cost control and has a history of low non-performing loans.

The biggest question facing the bank now is strategy. As one analyst points out: "The bank realizes that it has probably outgrown its local market now and so is looking at moving into other Gulf Cooperation Council states."

Growth opportunities in Bahrain's domestic market are limited and the bank has a highly concentrated risk asset portfolio in Bahrain and other GCC markets that exposes it disproportionately to oil price movements.

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