Worlds Safest Banks 2016: Middle East Top 50

The safest banks in the Middle East are all based in the GCC, with the exception of the two large Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, which rank 26th and 27th. National Bank of Abu Dhabi remains the Safest Bank in the Middle East and the only one to hold ratings in the AA-range from all three rating agencies. (It has three AA- ratings.) Qatar National Bank and National Bank of Kuwait follow, with two AA- ratings and an A+.

Banks from the United Arab Emirates contribute 13 banks to the Top 50.

Saudi banks have been downgraded over the last year as a result of the downgrading of the Saudi government’s rating, but 10 out of the kingdom’s 12 domestic commercial banks still find a place among the safest 50 banks in the Middle East. Nonetheless, the strongest Saudi Bank, National Commercial Bank, ranks only 18th.

Ratings on the governments of Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have not been downgraded, and the leading banks in these countries continue to enjoy AA or A ratings. Qatari banks in particular are benefiting from their government’s AA ratings. Several quite small Qatari banks are now ranked higher than regional giants based in Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain is now rated sub-investment-grade by all three agencies, but three Bahraini banks qualify for the Top 50 ranking because they are able to pierce the sovereign rating “ceiling” as a result of their diverse asset profile (which reduces their reliance on Bahraini business) and regional shareholders.

Banks from Middle Eastern countries outside the GCC or Israel do not come close to scoring highly enough to reach the Top 50. Countries such as Lebanon and Egypt are rated deep in sub-investment-grade territory and their banks receive correspondingly low ratings. Even banks in Morocco, which fall just below the investment/sub-investment grade divide, fall well short of the number of points needed for inclusion.

RankGroup NameCountryRatingsTotal ScoreAssets$ mnStatementDate
1National Bank of Abu Dhabi UAEAA-Aa3AA-21110,70512/31/15
2Qatar National BankQatarAA-Aa3A+20147,96912/31/15
3National Bank of KuwaitKuwaitAA-Aa3A+2077,75212/31/15
4Abu Dhabi Commercial BankUAEA+A1A1762,15612/31/15
5Union National BankUAEA+A1N/R1727,74312/31/15
6Al Hilal Bank UAEA+A1N/R1711,73412/31/15
7First Gulf Bank UAEA+A2A1661,94612/31/15
8Kuwait Finance HouseKuwaitA+A1A-1654,45412/31/15
9Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank UAEA+A2N/R15.532,23412/31/15
10Al Ahli Bank of KuwaitKuwaitA+A2N/R15.514,36312/31/15
11Ahli United BankKuwaitA+A2N/R15.512,86412/31/15
12Barwa BankQatarA+A2N/R15.512,41812/31/15
13Qatar International
Islamic Bank
15International Bank of QatarQatarA+A2N/R15.58,76612/31/15
16Doha BankQatarA+A2A-1522,88712/31/15
17Gulf BankKuwaitA+A2A-1517,91712/31/15
18National Commercial BankSaudi ArabiaAA1BBB+14119,82412/31/15
19Emirates NBDUAEA+A3N/R14110,70412/31/15
20Al Rajhi BankSaudi ArabiaAA1BBB+1484,16512/31/15
21Samba Financial GroupSaudi ArabiaAA1BBB+1462,73112/31/15
22Qatar Islamic BankQatarA+N/RA-1434,89812/31/15
23Commercial Bank of QatarQatarA+A2BBB+1433,90712/31/15
24Al Khaliji BankQatarA+A3N/R1415,55912/31/15
25Commercial Bank of KuwaitKuwaitA+A3N/R1413,30312/31/15
26Bank HapoalimIsraelA-A2A-13110,62012/31/15
27Bank LeumiIsraelA-A2A-13106,74012/31/15
28Riyad BankSaudi ArabiaAA2BBB+1359,55112/31/15
29SABB (formerly Saudi British Bank)Saudi ArabiaA-A1BBB+1350,06712/31/15
30Banque Saudi FransiSaudi ArabiaA-A1BBB+1348,99312/31/15
31Burgan BankKuwaitA+A3BBB+1322,48712/31/15
32Boubyan BankKuwaitA+Baa1N/R12.510,32312/31/15
33Gulf Investment CorporationKuwaitA-A2N/R12.55,09712/31/15
34Arab National BankSaudi ArabiaA-A2BBB+1245,44631/12/15
35Dubai Islamic BankUAEABaa1N/R1140,81612/31/15
36Saudi HollandiSaudi ArabiaA-A3N/R1128,81912/31/15
37Sharjah Islamic BankUAEBBB+A3BBB+118,13712/31/15
38Warba BankKuwaitA+Baa2N/R112,55812/31/15
39Mashreq BankUAEABaa2BBB+1031,35712/31/15
40Saudi Investment BankSaudi ArabiaA-A3BBB1024,96912/31/15
41Gulf International BankBahrainA-Baa1N/R9.524,19212/31/15
42Bank AljaziraSaudi ArabiaA-Baa1N/R9.516,87012/31/15
43Commercial Bank of DubaiUAEA-Baa1N/R9.515,75612/31/15
44National Bank of FujairahUAENRBaa1BBB+98,17712/31/15
46Bank MuscatOmanBBB+Baa1BBB-732,62512/31/15
47Ahli United BankBahrainBBB+N/RBBB6.533,96512/31/15
48Bank DhofarOmanBBBBaa2N/R59,34512/31/15
49National Bank Of OmanOmanBBBBaa2N/R58,48712/31/15
50Bank ABCBahrainBBB-Ba1N/R-128,19512/31/15
Asset data from Fitch except where noted.