Home AWARDS The International Banker 2019 Middle East & Africa Awards Winners

The International Banker 2019 Middle East & Africa Awards Winners

by internationalbanker

According to Saudi Arabia’s central bank, an increasing amount of interest is being shown by regional banks that seek to operate in the Kingdom, as forecasts suggest that the Saudi economy will grow at 2 percent this year. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Governor Ahmed al-Kholifey stated that “we have a number of licences in the pipeline right now” and that the bank views this “as a vote of confidence in our economy and in the banking sector in particular”. He also announced that Credit Suisse had won approval for a banking licence to operate in Saudi Arabia. The Swiss banking giant is just one of many major lenders that are aiming to establish a presence in the country, including Citigroup and Moelis & Company.

Mr. al-Kholifey also acknowledged that credit growth in the country had risen in the first quarter by more than 3 percent, its fastest pace in more than two years, spurred on by strong demand for mortgages and loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has stated that Lebanese banks are ready to support his government with the financial support required to successfully enact economic reforms. “We want to carry out the necessary reforms for the benefit of the Lebanese citizen(s) and public finances,” Hariri said. “I am confident that the banks and central bank governor will be ready to help us.” The help required would likely be via low-interest rates, in order to help the country reduce its massive debt burden—one of the biggest in the world—which currently stands at 150 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

According to a recent assessment by credit-rating agency Fitch, the operating environment for banks in Jordan is stabilising, while lenders have maintained asset quality through the economic cycles, thanks largely to keeping a prudent risk appetite. The performance is even more laudable given the presence of several challenges, including rising unemployment, sluggish improvement in the regional environment and growing social tension from ongoing fiscal consolidation. Nevertheless, asset quality has been maintained.

Jordanian banks also continue to demonstrate strong profitability, although rising funding costs last year weighed on the net-interest margins of some lenders in 2018. At 17.2 percent for the end of 2018’s first half, moreover, the banking system’s average capital-adequacy ratio remained comfortably above the minimum regulatory requirement.

According to commercial bank Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar’s banking sector grew in all of its major parameters during March. Banks registered annual growth in deposits, credit and assets, QNB’s latest country report showed, by 3 percent, 3.1 percent and 4.1 percent respectively. And private-sector, public-sector and non-resident deposits increased 1.7 percent, 9.2 percent and 3.4 percent month-on-month respectively from February levels.

US banking giant Goldman Sachs is now seeking a banking licence for South Africa, as part of a major new expansion plan into the country. In what it calls a “vote of confidence” for President Cyril Ramaphosa to execute much-needed economic reforms, the bank announced that it will sell more core-banking products such as fixed income to clients in South Africa. It has also recently struck a new deal with South African investment bank Investec to boost equity trading in the region.

Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers has approved a draft law enabling foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin to invest in the banking sector. The law aims to help such individuals take advantage of the positive reforms going on in Ethiopia, as well as boost the role of banks in the Ethiopian economy by attracting external resources.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) recently warned that it will punish persons, companies and institutions dealing in foreign exchange without official authorization from the central bank. As such, it has named 38 forex (foreign-exchange) bureaus that have not complied with regulations and now face closure. The bureaus have been identified for non-renewal of licences, failure to submit audited accounts, failure to submit monthly financial reports and failure to operate within a period of two years.

According to Nelson Mukunga, a deputy director at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, sanctions imposed on the country by Western powers have done little to affect Zimbabwe’s ability to transact internationally. As such, local banks in the country have no challenges in meeting their external obligations. But this assertion is in direct contrast with earlier comments from the bank’s governor, John Mangudya, who said that sanctions have throttled Zimbabwe’s financial system. “It’s only a few banks which can take Zimbabwe’s risk. OFAC [the Office of Foreign Assets Control] says that the transactions from Zimbabwe should be scrutinised for compliance risk,” Mangudya said, following the decision by the United States to extend sanctions.

 

 

 >>>MIDDLE EAST AWARD WINNERS  

 

               BANKING CEO OF THE YEAR                  
Middle East
Mr. Isam J. Al-Sager

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK )

**********

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Middle East
Ahli United Bank (Bahrain)

**********

Best Banking Group Kuwait
NBK Group

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Egypt
EFG-Hermes

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Qatar
QNB Capital

Best Investment Bank Of The Year UAE
First Abu Dhabi Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Bahrain
Bank ABC

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Egypt
National Bank of Egypt

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Jordan
Jordan Islamic Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Oman
National Bank of Oman

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Qatar
Al Khalij Commercial Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year UAE
Emirates NBD

Best Private Bank Of The Year Oman
Bank Muscat

Best Private Bank Of The Year UAE
First Abu Dhabi Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Bahrain
Ahli United Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Egypt
National Bank of Egypt

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Jordan
Arab Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking KSA
Alawwal bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Kuwait
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Lebanon
AM Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Oman
BankDhofar

Best Innovation In Retail Banking UAE
Emirates NBD

Best Islamic Bank Of The Year Jordan
Jordan Islamic Bank (JIB)

Best Islamic Bank Of The Year Oman
BankDhofar

Best Islamic Bank Of The Year UAE
Dubai Islamic Bank

 

 

 

 >>>AFRICA AWARD WINNERS  

 

BANKING CEO OF THE YEAR
Africa
Mr. Ade Ayeyemi

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (Togo)

**********

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Africa
Nedbank (South Africa)

**********

Best Banking Group Togo
Ecobank Transnational

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Nigeria
Chapel Hill Denham

Best Investment Bank Of The Year South Africa
Rand Merchant Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Cameroon
Afriland First Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sofibanque

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Ghana
Ecobank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Kenya
Guardian Bank Limited

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Lesotho
Standard Lesotho Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Mali
BICIM – Groupe BNP Paribas

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Sierra Leone
Guaranty Trust Bank (SL) Limited

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Uganda
Bank of Baroda

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Zambia
Zanaco

Best Development Bank Nigeria
Bank of Industry

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Angola
Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI)

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Democratic Republic of Congo
Sofibanque

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Ethiopia
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Ghana
GCB Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Mali
BICIM – Groupe BNP Paribas

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Mozambique
Moza Banco

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Sierra Leone
Guaranty Trust Bank (SL) Limited

Best Innovation In Retail Banking South Africa
Nedbank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Tanzania
CRDB Bank PLC

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Togo
Ecobank

 

 

 

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