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Awards for Excellence 2009: Saudi Arabia

Best Bank: Al Rajhi
Best Investment Bank: HSBC Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is home to Al Rajhi, the Middle East’s biggest bank by market value.

Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank, which is unlisted and in line for privatization, has the largest share of Saudi banking assets. This year, however, the state-owned lender’s profits fell by about two-thirds. Al Rajhi’s Riyadh-based rival Samba similarly saw profits fall 7.7% last year.

Almost all banks in Saudi Arabia were hit by the 2008 local stock market crash, as well as the decline in sentiment that accompanied the oil-price crash last year.

But some have been hit harder than others, and some, such as Samba, were also more exposed to the falling value of investments in international markets.

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