Top 50 Safest Banks In Emerging Markets 2018

Emerging markets are more vulnerable to external shocks of all kinds; the safest banks provide stability in volatile markets.

Our ranking of the 50 Safest Emerging Markets Banks reflects their vulnerability to shifts in the global financial markets, rising global trade tensions and geopolitical instability. These factors are contributing to interest rate and currency volatility, while concerns of slowing economic growth threaten to negatively impact business confidence and capital spending.

With this uncertainty, our 2018 rankings provide a valuable guide for banks in the emerging markets, and are determined based on the eligibility criteria in our methodology: Entities must have at least two ratings from the three global ratings agencies and also be among the world’s largest 500 banks by assets.

Many emerging markets economies are sensitive to US dollar appreciation and struggle with currency stability. Specifically, the strengthening US dollar over the course of the year is an area of concern, given emerging markets bank holdings of outstanding US dollar-denominated sovereign debt and corporate loans. Further appreciation, and associated credit-spread widening, could be problematic and contribute to credit-risk concerns and the deterioration in bank asset quality. Emerging markets banks must contend with the outlook for slowing global economic growth amid the threat of disruption in global trade as tension between the US and China escalates.

Also contributing to a challenging outlook are the rise in oil prices due to US sanctions on Iran and the economic crisis in Venezuela, combined with supply-output pressures and a general lack of capacity. Contagion from economic and currency crises in a number of countries, including Argentina and Turkey, also contributes to considerable market volatility that impacts the credit and foreign-exchange exposures for emerging markets banks—as well as banks in developed markets that conduct cross-border business or have subsidiaries in these or other emerging markets countries.

Given this backdrop, there are shifts in the composition of our 2018 rankings resulting from ratings downgrades in a number of countries, including China, Chile and Qatar. While the top five positions remain unchanged compared to 2017, the three Chinese policy banks—China Development Bank, Agricultural Development Bank of China and the Export-Import Bank of China—each fell one place following a one-notch downgrade by S&P. Agricultural Bank of China rose to 20th following a Moody’s upgrade.

Chile is the lone Latin American representative in our rankings, and a Moody’s downgrade of the sovereign rating was the catalyst for a downgrade of Banco del Estado de Chile (14th), Banco Santander Chile (24th) and Banco de Chile (25th), reflecting diminished expectations for government support. This rating dynamic also hammered Qatar, with most Qatari banks downgraded by Fitch following a sovereign downgrade.

South Korea is strongly represented in our rankings, taking the top three spots. Woori Bank benefited from a Moody’s upgrade to rise to 31st and is one of nine South Korean banks in the Emerging Markets Top 50. Notable newcomers to our 2018 rankings include three Saudi Arabian banks: Al Rajhi Bank, Samba Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi. Overall, our rankings include 23 banks from the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

WORLD’S SAFEST BANKS 2018 — 50 Safest Emerging Market Banks
Rank Company Name Country Fitch Moody’s S&P Total Score Assets ($ Mil.) Statement Date
1 Korea Development Bank South Korea AA— Aa2 AA 23 246,231 31-Dec-2017
2 The Export-Import Bank of Korea South Korea AA— Aa2 AA 23 79,826 31-Dec-2017
3 Industrial Bank of Korea South Korea AA— Aa2 AA— 22 255,805 31-Dec-2017
4 First Abu Dhabi Bank UAE AA— Aa3 AA— 21 182,156 31-Dec-2017
5 National Bank of Kuwait Kuwait AA— Aa3 A+ 20 86,279 31-Dec-2017
6 Bank of Taiwan Taiwan NR Aa3 A+ 18.5 165,621 31-Dec-2017
7 China Development Bank China A+ A1 A+ 18 2,450,812 31-Dec-2017
8 Agricultural Development Bank of China China A+ A1 A+ 18 808,118 31-Dec-2016
9 Export-Import Bank of China China A+ A1 A+ 18 479,776 31-Dec-2016
10 Shinhan Bank South Korea A Aa3 A+ 18 302,700 31-Dec-2017
11 Qatar National Bank Qatar A+ Aa3 A 18 222,824 31-Dec-2017
12 Kookimin Bank South Korea A A1 A+ 17 307,790 31-Dec-2017
13 Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank UAE A+ A1 A 17 72,159 31-Dec-2017
14 Banco del Estado de Chile Chile A A1 A+ 17 61,588 31-Dec-2017
15 Kuwait Finance House Kuwait A+ A1 NR 17 57,524 31-Dec-2017
16 Union National Bank UAE A+ A1 NR 17 29,277 31-Dec-2017
17 Al Hilal Bank UAE A+ A1 NR 17 12,195 31-Dec-2017
18 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China China A A1 A 16 4,006,242 31-Dec-2017
19 China Construction Bank China A A1 A 16 3,397,688 31-Dec-2017
20 Agricultural Bank of China China A A1 A 16 3,233,212 31-Dec-2017
21 Bank of China China A A1 A 16 2,989,653 31-Dec-2017
22 KEB Hana Bank South Korea A— A1 A+ 16 299,509 31-Dec-2017
23 NongHyup Bank South Korea A— A1 A+ 16 249,518 31-Dec-2017
24 Banco Santander Chile Chile A A1 A 16 58,299 31-Dec-2017
25 Banco de Chile Chile NR A1 A 16 53,374 31-Dec-2017
26 Mega International Commercial Bank Taiwan NR A1 A 15.5 106,463 31-Dec-2017
27 Land Bank of Taiwan Taiwan NR Aa3 A— 15.5 89,954 30-Jun-2017
28 Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank UAE A+ A2 NR 15.5 33,568 31-Dec-2017
29 Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait Kuwait A- A2 NR 15.5 14,455 31-Dec-2017
30 Ahli United Bank Kuwait A+ A2 NR 15.5 12,148 31-Dec-2017
31 Woori Bank South Korea A— A1 A 15 295,217 31-Dec-2017
32 CTBC Bank Taiwan A A2 A 15 126,022 31-Dec-2017
33 Banco de Credito e Inversiones Chile A A2 A 15 55,075 31-Dec-2017
34 Qatar Islamic Bank Qatar A A1 A— 15 41,312 31-Dec-2017
35 Bank of Communications China A A2 A— 14 1,388,024 31-Dec-2017
36 Emirates NBD UAE A+ A3 NR 14 128,080 31-Dec-2017
37 Ceska Sporitelna Czech Republic AA— A2 A 14 62,431 31-Dec-2017
38 Komercni Banka Czech Republic A— A2 A 14 47,158 31-Dec-2017
39 Suhyup Bank South Korea NR A2 A 14 29,920 31-Dec-2017
40 Gulf Bank Kuwait A+ A3 A— 14 18,835 31-Dec-2017
41 Commercial Bank of Kuwait Kuwait A+ A3 NR 14 14,564 31-Dec-2017
42 Barwa Bank Qatar A A2 NR 14 13,362 31-Dec-2017
43 Boubyan Bank Kuwait A+ A3 NR 14 13,158 31-Dec-2017
44 Qatar International Islamic Bank Qatar A A2 NR 14 12,807 31-Dec-2017
45 Ahli Bank Qatar A A2 NR 14 10,957 31-Dec-2017
46 International Bank of Qatar Qatar A A2 NR 14 9,090 31-Dec-2017
47 The National Commercial Bank Saudi Arabia A— A1 BBB+ 13 118,364 31-Dec-2017
48 Al Rajhi Bank Saudi Arabia A— A1 BBB+ 13 91,498 31-Dec-2017
49 Samba Financial Group Saudi Arabia A— A1 BBB+ 13 60,696 31-Dec-2017
50 Banque Saudi Fransi Saudi Arabia A— A1 BBB+ 13 51,488 31-Dec-2017

Asset figures from Fitch, Moody’s, and company reports. Ratings valid as of Aug. 17, 2018.