Credit Agricole has announced that it will sell half of its stake in Saudi Fransi Bank to Prince Walid al-Talal. The Arab Banker's editor reviews the level of foreign bank ownership in the Saudi banking system.
Seven Arab banks show more than $10bn in Tier 1 capital
The Banker magazine's annual ranking of the world's biggest banks appears in its July edition. It shows Qatar National Bank as the biggest Arab bank, with tier one capital of $17,248 bn at the end of 2016. This placed the bank 82nd in the world.
National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia was next, with capital of $15,912, ranking 87th in the world.
The Banker's figures precede the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, which was completed in March 2017. An investor presentation by the new bank – named First Abu Dhabi Bank – showed tier one caital (CET1 and AT1) of $21.4bn in March. This would have ranked the bank about 70th in the world.
Of the 25 biggest Middle Eastern banks, eight are based in Saudi Arabia, seven in the UAE, three in Qatar, three in Israel, two in Kuwait, one in Bahrain and one in Jordan.
The table below reproduces the The Banker's list of the biggest 25 Middle Eastern banks.
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