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Ahli United Bank (AUB), one of the region’s leading banks, has been awarded ‘Best Bank in the Middle East 2007’ by the reputed magazine, Global Finance for the second year in a row, an honour achieved by very few other banks.

Global Finance, a prestigious New York based international magazine, selects the top performers in the Gulf region and in 24 other countries after a study of banks across the region. Industry analysts, banking professionals and consultants assist the jury to select the winners based on factors such as growth in assets, profitability, strategic initiatives, customer service, competitive pricing, and innovative products.

“We are proud to have won this award for a second consecutive year. Winning the award again demonstrates the continuing success of our business strategies and the soundness of our management principles,” said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, Ahli United Bank.

“Over the past year, we have continued to perform exceedingly well, expanding further in the region and consolidating our businesses in the different countries,” he added.

In 2006, AUB together with its associate banks and other Gulf financial institutions acquired an 89% stake in Delta International Bank, Egypt, marking the Group’s foray into this rapidly developing country. In the same year, AUB signed a US$ 1.2 billion syndicated deposit facility that was heavily oversubscribed and had the participation of 51 banks from across the Globe. The syndicated deposit facility was a reflection of the confidence that the industry had on AUB’s strategic direction. Also in 2006, AUB signed a US$ 200 million finance agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, finalising what was the largest such investment done by the IFC in the region to date.

AUB achieved record results in 2006 with net profits rising 25% to US$ 207.5 million and net assets rising 49% to US$ 20.8 billion.