GCC banks dominate the Forbes list with 41 entries, accounting for 82%. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have the highest representation, with 10 entries each, while Qatar is listed with eight banks with a market value of $81.3 billion.
The global banking sector has faced significant challenges this year, with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank raising concerns about a potential contagion effect. Despite this, banks in the MENA region have remained largely unaffected due to their robust liquidity buffers, stable customer deposits, and limited exposure to failed U.S. banks.
Moody’s has released a report stating that GCC banks are resilient to the distress of U.S. banks thanks to their broad franchises and strong sovereign footprint. Additionally, Islamic finance has rapidly grown across GCC banking systems, with deposits at these banks being lower-cost than those at conventional banks, supporting profitability during periods of high-interest rates.
The largest bank in Qatar, Qatar National Bank (QNB) Group, ranks third on the list, closely following Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi National Bank. QNB, with a market value of $42.8 billion, is 51.93% controlled by the Qatar Investment Authority and has a presence in 28 nations across three continents.
Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) stands in the 12th position. Founded in 1982, QIB operates 23 branches at home and has investments in the United Kingdom and Lebanon. QIB’s net profit rose by 12.7% to $1.1 billion in 2022, while its total assets decreased by 5.1% to $50.5 billion compared to the previous year. The country’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, is the largest shareholder in QIB, holding a 17.2% stake.
Masraf Al Rayan, a Shariah-compliant bank with operations in Qatar, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and France, comes in at 20th place with a market value of $6.9 billion. Qatar Investment Authority owns 15.9% of the bank.
Commercial Bank, founded in 1974, and represented in Turkey through its subsidiary Alternatif Bank, holds the 21st spot on the list with a market value of $6.8 billion, with Qatar Investment Authority owning 16.8% of the bank.
Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) takes the 26th spot on the Forbes 50 ‘Most Valuable Banks 2023’ list, with a market value of $4.36 billion. QIIB offers Islamic banking services through 17 offices in Qatar, and the Qatar Investment Authority is its largest stakeholder with a 16.62% ownership stake.
Dukhan Bank, 28th on the list, has a market value of $4.17 billion. In 2019, the bank merged with the International Bank of Qatar and in February 2023, it was listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange with a market cap valuation of $6.3 billion and a free float of 33.34%. The largest shareholder in the bank is the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority, with a 24.5% stake.
Ahlibank takes the 35th spot on the list, with a market value of $2.8 billion. The public shareholding company was established in 1983 and currently has a network of 89 ATMs and 14 locations throughout Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority owns 47.71% of the bank.
Finally, Doha Bank, founded in 1979, comes in at 44th place with a market value of $1.4 billion, with representative offices in countries including Japan, China, and the United Kingdom, as well as overseas branches in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and India. The Qatar Investment Authority holds a 17.15% stake in Doha Bank.