JOHANNESBURG — Standard Bank Group has retained its title as the Middle East and Africa’s third-largest bank by total assets, with $163.89bn (just over R2trn) under its belt, according to the latest global bank rankings from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Standard Bank ranks behind First Abu Dhabi Bank ($182.12bn) in second place and Qatar National Bank ranks first in the region with $229.01. The fact that a Qatari bank ranks first in this list makes for interesting reading, especially as that tiny Gulf state has been in a diplomatic spat with its bigger neighbours being the likes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (The spat is so intense that Qatar Airways is not allowed to fly over UAE or Saudi airspace.) Geopolitical tensions aside, it’s encouraging to see that FirstRand and Barclays Africa Group have climbed the rankings, respectively each occupying positions 8 and 9 in the list with total assets of $116.5bn and $94.23bn. Nedbank and Investec also climbed the rankings. – Gareth van Zyl
By Saqib Chaudhry and Eazaz Khan for S&P Global Market Intelligence
Qatar National Bank (QPSC) is the largest bank by assets in Africa and the Middle East for the third consecutive year, according to the latest ranking by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The Qatari lender reported $229.01 billion in assets at the end of March 2018, $46.89 billion more than UAE-based First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, which placed second.
Another Israeli bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. jumped four spots to 12th position as its assets grew to $81.12 billion. The company’s assets were adjusted higher to account for the pending acquisition of Union Bank of Israel Ltd., which had $12.07 billion in assets at the end of 2017.The strengthening of the Israeli shekel against the U.S. dollar helped Israel’s Bank Hapoalim BM and Bank Leumi le-Israel BM climb to the fourth and fifth spots in the ranking, respectively. The banks would have ranked seventh and eighth if the shekel had remained flat against the dollar over the last year.
South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd. remained the region’s third-largest bank by assets. The four other South African lenders in the ranking — FirstRand Ltd., Barclays Africa Group Ltd., Nedbank Group Ltd. and Investec Ltd. — all moved up.
Qatar Islamic Bank (QPSC) was the only new entrant in 2017, coming in at No. 30 with $41.70 billion in assets.
In this ranking, company 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-U.S. dollar filers were converted to dollars using period-end exchange rates.
The majority of banks were ranked by total assets as of Dec. 31, 2017. In the previous ranking published May 3, 2017, most company assets were as of March 31, 2017, and were adjusted for pending and completed M&A as of March 31, 2017. No adjustments were made for differences between GAAP and IFRS filings.