Saudi Arabia leads MENA’s top 30 banks — S&P report

Seven banks from the country are collectively worth $805 billion
Saudi Arabia leads MENA’s top 30 banks — S&P report
Saudi boasts a robust banking and finance sector

A new report from S&P Global Market Intelligence spotlights the banking industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The firm ranked MENA’s top 30 banks, and Saudi Arabia leads the pack with seven banks boasting a collective $805 billion in assets.

In terms of individual assets, Qatar National Bank topped the list as the largest bank in MENA. It boasts a substantial $323.56 billion in assets. First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC took second place with $302.22 billion. At $250.8 billion, Saudi National Bank ranked third. All three institutions retained their previous year’s ranks. 

Saudi banks make their mark

Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. notably recorded a stellar performance after making it into MENA’s top five largest banks. It secured a fourth-place position, climbing from no. 9. This marks the highest jump of any lender in the past year.

Al Rajhi’s growth can be attributed to the bank’s remarkable feat of nearly doubling its assets over the past three years. Its assets are worth $202.86 billion as of December 31, 2022, reflecting a 22 percent for the year. Mortgage financing also played a pivotal role. It surged by 29.8 percent, according to the bank’s fourth-quarter 2022 earnings statement.

Additionally, Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank also improved their rankings. They all advanced one spot from the previous places to reach the 21st, 25th and 27th places, respectively. Meanwhile, Riyad Bank retained its 19th position.

With a projection of extending more loans linked to mega-projects in 2023, the Saudi banking sector is expected to continue its upward trajectory. This comes despite an anticipated decline in overall loan demand.

Read: Arab open banking market set for 25 percent annual growth: Report

Where MENA’s top banks are

While Saudi Arabia leads the list, the MENA region’s banking sector reflects various financial powerhouses. Five of the top 30 banks hail from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These institutions have combined assets worth $774 billion.

South Africa is also well-represented among the top 30, with four banks holding assets valued at $475 billion. Egypt, Kuwait and Iran each have two banks securing their positions. Jordan and Morocco have one bank each to complete the list. 

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