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  • Several Gulf Cooperation Council countries have bank consolidation at the core of economic visions. As governments push for national champions, pressure is building across the industry as banks jostle for position.
  • Kuwait Finance House’s 45th year in business was a banner one. In October 2022, the team led by acting chief executive Abdulwahab Iesa Alrushood completed the acquisition of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank to create the world’s second-largest Islamic bank.
  • Since its inception in 2004, Boubyan Bank has carved out a specific niche in a Kuwaiti market dominated by bigger and more established players. As chief executive Abdullah Al-Tuwaijri puts it, three words serve as the guiding star for the bank’s strategy: “modern, attractive and digital.”
  • War-induced instability in commodity markets has been a boon for Kuwait and its banking sector. But it only serves to underscore how reliant the country still is on hydrocarbons.
  • The country’s model of financing relentless consumption from dwindling oil revenues is under attack from all sides. Covid-related credit relief has hit the banks’ bottom lines and they are joining the call for diversification.
  • In a career in banking that spans more than four decades, Michel Accad’s talent for making the best of bad situations has earned him the overwhelming respect of his peers.
  • Best bank in the Middle East Emirates NBD Best investment bank in the Middle East HSBC Best digital bank in the Middle East Emirates NBD Best bank for financing in the Middle East Citi Best bank for advisory in the Middle East Barclays Best bank for markets in the Middle East National Bank of Abu Dhabi Best bank for transaction services in the Middle East Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Best bank for wealth management in the Middle East Audi Private Bank Best bank for CSR in the Middle East Arab African International Bank Best bank for SMEs Bank of Alexandria Best bank transformation Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait Outstanding contribution to financial services Hisham Ezz Al Arab . Country Awards for Excellence 2016: Middle East Awards for Excellence Middle East press release
  • Gulf bankers have been through a trauma — and there is more pain to come. News of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait brought instant demand for cash, a rapid fall in local currencies and a haemorrhage of funds from the region. Some institutions will not survive; others must undergo rapid change. And as bankers set about repairing the damage there are warnings of further shocks to come.
  • Secretive, aggressive, unpredictable and highly successful, the state fund managers of the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) are among the world's most important investors. Only the Swiss Big Three banks have more funds invested internationally than the $60 billion or more of the tiny emirate's oil wealth now in play around the globe. Who makes the decisions? What's the strategy? And what are the internal politics? By Martin French