Some problems occurred in the production of our Middle Eastern awards last month. The correct text of the awards for best bank in the region and in Kuwait follows below:
Gulf International Bank
This year Gulf International Bank reclaims the best bank award from its closest rival, National Bank of Kuwait. Again these two contested closely but GIB takes the award.
One leading analyst covering the region points out: "If you're looking at the dominant regional performer, then GIB comes out ahead of NBK. It is particularly strong in wholesale banking but is improving in other areas as well."
These include investment banking, where it is adding to its product range following its acquisition of Saudi International Bank two years ago. GIB has also been developing its project finance franchise.
GIB's earnings in 2000 regained momentum, following an 18% decline in 1999 related to merger costs. This is one area where it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. Set in an international context, return on equity is on the low side. "Overall earnings are still fairly lacklustre," says an analyst.