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AWARDS

Country Awards for Excellence 2017: Asia

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Best bank: Azizi Bank 

Euromoney has never before given an award in Afghanistan, but the story of Azizi Bank is compelling. Formed by an ethnic business group in 2006 and owned by Dubai’s Azizi Group, it took over the Development Bank of Afghanistan from the central bank in 2009, then India’s Punjab National Bank in 2014. It is Afghanistan’s largest commercial bank, with more than 140 branches and a million customers, and employs 2,300 people, 17% of them women, which does not sound a lot but matters in Afghanistan. 

It is the sense of ambition and possibility that marks out Azizi Bank. It has just launched the country’s first fully fledged Islamic bank by converting a subsidiary, Bakhtar. It is the leader in the country in using point-of-sale devices, it uses social media and, in addition to saving and lending products, it is a leader in trade finance.