World’s Biggest Emerging Market Banks

Gulf state banks joined midsized Chinese banks in outsized asset growth.

While the balance sheets of Chinese state-owned banks continue their expansion, a number of midsized institutions also posted solid asset growth, boosting China’s dominance in Global Finance’s 2020 Biggest Emerging Market Banks. Chinese banks now account for the top 15 banks in our ranking of the top 50, up from 14 last year, and their lead has now expanded in each of the past three years.

Ping An Bank, a midsize nationwide bank with loan market share of only 1.5%, experienced a 13% increase in assets, jumping ahead of State Bank of India to claim the #15 spot. Midsize institutions in China outpaced the 5% overall asset growth of the 23 Chinese banks that made our ranking; The biggest gainers included Hua Xia Bank (+11%), China Guangfa Bank (+10%), Bank of Shanghai (+9%), Bank of Nanjing (+9%), Bank of Ningbo (+8%) and Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank (+13%). 

Collectively, Chinese banks represent 79% of the assets in our ranking, a share that has held relatively steady in recent years. The biggest movements occurred within the Gulf Cooperation Council states, where Emirates NBD, based in Dubai, rose six spots to #41, reflecting a 37% jump in assets from its 2019 acquisition of Turkey’s DenizBank from Russia’s Sberbank. The other GCC representatives–Qatar National Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, all posted asset growth in excess of 10%, collectively boosting the total assets of GCC banks by 17%.

The comparatively modest 3% balance-sheet expansion of the seven South Korean institutions yielded a mixed impact ranking-wise; Shinhan Bank was a standout, posting 9% asset growth and rising three positions. The four Indian banks that made the ranking slightly outpaced the 5% asset growth of the emerging market bank cohort as a whole, their balance sheets growing 6%, on average. Not to be outdone, South Africa–based Standard Bank expanded by 9% while Taiwan’s CTBC Bank and Bank of Taiwan averaged 7% growth. Malayan Banking Berhad maintained its position at #39, with 4% asset growth.