Ratings and research firm S&P Global has released its latest research detailing the largest banks in the Africa and Middle East region – and including five banks in South Africa.
The rating firm’s research shows that Saudi Arabia is home to the largest number of top 30 banks, with seven institutions collectively holding assets worth $513 billion.
South Africa follows next with five institutions holding combined assets of $466 billion.
All South African lenders, except FirstRand, slipped from their previous ranking, due largely to rand weakness – down almost 14% against the US dollar in 2018. For Standard Bank Group, the stronger dollar knocked $24.06 billion off the dollar value of its assets, S&P said.
Qatar National Bank continued its reign as the largest bank in Africa and the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. The Qatari banking giant had assets worth $242.29 billion at year-end 2018, roughly $40 billion more than UAE-based First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC.
Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, jumped three notches to third, displacing South Africa’s Standard Bank Group, partially driven by the UAE lender’s pending acquisition of DenizBank AŞ a subsidiary of PAO Sberbank of Russia.
The biggest banks in South Africa
The 30 biggest banks in AMEA
For the ranking, a bank’s total assets were adjusted for pending mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as M&A deals that closed after the end of the reporting period through March 31 on a best-efforts basis.
Assets reported by non-US dollar filers were converted to dollars using period-end exchange rates, S&P said. The majority of banks were ranked by total assets as of December 31, 2018.