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Middle East's Best Bank Awards

Palestine: Best Corporate and Investment Bank 2021

Arab Bank

Given the pandemic and tensions with Israel, the Palestinian economy did not generate any big deals such as IPOs or M&A in the last 12 to 18 months. In fact, the Palestine Capital Market Authority even suspended local stock trading for a time, starting in March 2020.

Not surprisingly, banks have mainly focused on helping clients through a particularly chaotic time. Take Arab Bank, led by chairman Sabih Masri, which has played a leading role in the socio-economic development of Palestine and the region.

The bank’s head office may be in Amman in Jordan these days, but the institution is rooted in Palestine, where seven investors scraped together 15,000 Palestinian pounds to kick off Arab Bank in Jerusalem in July 1930. One of those investors, Abdul Hameed Shoman, served as Arab Bank’s first chairman.

While all banks claim to be catalysts for the communities and societies that produce them, Arab Bank is genuinely emblematic of the species. When Covid-19 spread, the bank immediately took the temperature of corporate, SME and consumer customers and rolled out support efforts as expeditiously as possible.

Arab Bank was also actively involved in local government programmes in line with initiatives by regulators and the Palestine Monetary Authority to alleviate burdens.

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