National Bank of Abu Dhabi said to be world's safest bank

By Marc Castro

Nov 09, 2013 11:41 AM EST

In the latest list announced by Global Finance, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi was named the safest bank in emerging markets. The largest lender in the United Arab Emirates saw its ranking increase through an upgrade by the ratings agency Standard & Poor's. 

The magazine added that the banks from the Gulf region and the Middle East had dominated the listing for the year, as banks from these regions had 22 places of the the top 50 rankings.

Korea had ten banks in the list and China had eight banks in the list. Other major countries listed by the magazine are Taiwan and Chile having four on the list and the Czech Republic with two banks.

The National Bank of Kuwait placed seventh in the top ten list. HSBC Oman made the list for the first time. It was forged by the merger of HSBC's Muscat branch merging with Oman International Bank. 

In a statement, Global Finance said, "As developing nations struggle with a slow-down in once booming economies, the financial institutions in those countries are facing moment of truth. With their local economies suddenly contracting, only the strongest banks will thrive. And because of that, potential corporate customers will be extremely careful in choosing the banks they do business with. In short, it's safety first."

NBAD obtained the top ranking as it had set out plans to build eight banking hubs in major cities. It had also laid out plans to build five franchises in some of the world's fast emerging economies.  The identified banking hubs are in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Lagos, London, Mumbai, Paris and Washington DC. 

The magazine's ratings said it had evaluated the ratings and total assets of the major banking institutions in the developing economies to reach the rankings published for this year's rankings.

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