Designation: Ali Al Kuwari, acting CEO
Now the biggest bank in the Gulf, Qatar National Bank (QNB) has also been rated as the world’s strongest lender by Bloomberg. Ali Al Kuwari still holds the acting chief executive tag, having replaced Ali Shareef Al Emadi last year when the latter was appointed Minister of Finance. The bank is certainly not resting on its laurels; earlier this year, chief financial officer Ramzi Mari told Reuters it was aiming to become the Middle East and Africa’s biggest lender by 2017. QNB stock is likely to benefit from the recent MSCI upgrade of Qatar to emerging markets status, as well as an order from the Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, to raise foreign ownership in the country’s stocks. The bank made a net profit of QR2.64bn ($725m) in the first quarter, a rise of 1.5 percent. QNB’s market cap has risen by 11.8 percent over the last 12 months.