Abu Dhabi's NBAD retains 'MidEast's safest bank' title

UAE's largest lender ranked 31st in global list; Kuwaiti, Qatari and Saudi banks also in top 50

Michael Tomalin, CEO, NBAD

Michael Tomalin, CEO, NBAD

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has retained its title as the safest bank in the Middle East, according to Global Finance magazine.

The UAE's largest lender by market value was placed 31st in the list which said bank stability remained a pressing concern for the world’s corporations and investors.

Global Finance, which has just published updated rankings for the world’s 50 safest banks, also listed National Bank of Kuwait (35th - down one place compared to October 2012), Qatar National Bank (42nd - down two places) and Samba Financial Group (43rd - down two) in the top 50.

Global Finance said bank stability was an "ever-more pressing concern" for the world’s companies and investors.

The top three safest banks in the world, according to the list, were Germany's KfW, Dutch-based Bank Nederlandse Germeenten and Zurcher Kantonalbank, of Switzerland.

It said in developed markets, economic uncertainty has affected the ratings of some financial institutions, including a number of banks in Canada, which had been seen as a bastion of banking safety since the crisis began in 2007.

In emerging markets, institutions have generally held their ratings and moved up the list as some developed market banks moved down, it added.

The biggest climber from the prior list published in October was BancoEstado of Chile, up six positions from 42 to 36, followed by Svenska Handelsbanken (up 5) and Nordea (up 4).

Newcomers to April’s Top 50 list included two South Korean banks (Korea Finance Corp and Industrial Bank of Korea) and Norway’s DnB.

“Counterparty risk is of prime importance to global CFOs and financial executives as economic uncertainty continues to trouble global markets,” said Global Finance publisher Joseph D Giarraputo.

“Global Finance’s Safest Banks ranking provides an independent analysis of each region’s banks that companies can use as a tool to benchmark their counterparties. The institutions that top our ranking of the Safest Banks are those that have shown their strength in times of turbulence.”


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