This year has been a tough one so far for the global banking sector, with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank flaming fears of a contagion effect. However, to date, MENA’s banks appear immune to the financial unrest thanks to solid liquidity buffers, low-cost and stable customer deposits, and a lack of exposure to failed U.S. banks.
According to a report by Moody’s, GCC banks are resilient to the U.S. banks’ distress thanks to broad franchises and their sovereign footprint. The report also referred to the rapid growth of Islamic finance across GCC banking systems, adding that deposits at these banks are lower cost than at conventional banks and support the banks’ profitability at times of high-interest rates.
Our list of the region’s most valuable banks features entities from 10 markets. The 50 banks had an aggregate market value of $548.1 billion as of February 28, 2023. GCC banks dominate with 41 entries, representing 82% of the list. Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are the most represented countries, with 10 entries each.
Saudi Arabia’s 10 most valuable banks have an aggregate market value of $223.5 billion. The U.A.E.’s 10 entries are worth $121.2 billion, Qatar’s eight banks have a market value of $81.3 billion, and Kuwait’s seven entries are worth $76.2 billion. Saudi Al Rajhi Bank tops the list with a market cap of $75 billion, followed by Saudi National Bank with $56.4 billion.