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BANKING

Qatar

Bahrain I Egypt I Iran I Israel I Jordan I Kuwait I Lebanon I Morocco I Oman I Qatar I Saudi Arabia I United Arab Emirates I Lifetime Achievement

BEST BANK: Commercial Bank of Qatar
BEST DEBT HOUSE: Goldman Sachs
The best bank in Qatar award has been won by Commercial Bank of Qatar, whose dynamic and bold decision to buy into and manage the National Bank of Oman puts it narrowly ahead of the power and financial muscle of Qatar National Bank.

The future of regional banking lies in cross-border mergers and Commercial Bank is one of the first financial institutions to take this step by buying a 34.9% stake in NBO and holding a management service contract. It is already starting to reap the rewards of this initiative. In the first quarter of this year NBO’s profits were up 83% after a year in which the bank had reported record profits.

This contributed to the performance of Commercial Bank itself, which achieved a net profit of QR750 million ($206 million) in 2005, up 117% on the previous year. Total assets increased from QR12.9