The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Country Awards for Excellence 2020: Middle East



Best bank: National Bank of Bahrain
Best investment bank: Sico

Ahli United Bank, Bahrain’s largest bank by assets, reported a 5% increase in profits to $730.5 million and saw its cross-border business grow to 20% of its loan portfolio in 2019. Its takeover by Kuwait Finance House has been postponed until December due to the coronavirus outbreak, ruling it out of this year’s best bank award.

Smaller but by no means less mighty rival National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) is Euromoney’s best bank in Bahrain after seeing profits increase by 6% in 2019 to $197 million, with a decent return on equity of 14.72%. Under the stewardship of chief executive Jean-Christophe Durand, formerly head of BNP Paribas’s Middle East and Africa operations, NBB embarked on a radical transformation programme in 2017 that is already delivering impressive results.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree