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Saudi Arabia

Al Rajhi Bank


HSBC/Saudi British Bank

Sceptics about Middle East banking sometimes suggest that there is no real competition for business in the region and that the market is dominated by a very few banks. Saudi Arabia gives the lie to this claim.

Not only are their many excellent banks, but to be the best requires a particular skill at present as this is a rapidly evolving market – Islamic financial services are developing at an unprecedented rate while the rapidly expanding capital market presents new challenges and opportunities. Getting the right balance of products and services requires immense skill.

The judges were spoilt for choice. The traditional powerhouses of the market, National Commercial Bank and Samba, have performed well. Riyad Bank and Arab National Bank are producing excellent results.

But the winner is Al Rajhi, which can rightly claim to be the best Islamic retail bank in the world and has in Saudi Arabia outperformed all rivals in the conventional sector as well.

It has the best return on equity, the highest share of deposits and the strongest growth in net income.

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