On A Grand Scale

Author: Andrew Cunningham

Chinese banks take first 10 places in rankings.

The biggest ten emerging markets banks are all Chinese, including the biggest bank in the world, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with assets of $3,100 billion. The increase in Chinese banks’ assets in dollar terms was assisted by a strengthening of the renminbi during 2013, but the growth in local currency assets was the principle reason for Chinese banks’ stronger showing.

Sberbank of Russia was the largest non-Chinese emerging markets bank at the end of 2013, in eleventh position.

The combined assets of the biggest 50 emerging markets banks was $24,465 billion, a 10% increase on last year. Chinese banks accounted for 73% of these assets, with Brazilian banks contributing 9% and Korean banks 7%.  

The small showing by banks from the Arabian Gulf is striking. Twenty-one GCC banks feature in the rankings, but only two feature among the biggest 50.

Chilean banks, which lead the Latin American contribution to both the Global Safest Banks and the Safest Emerging Markets Banks, fall far short of the size needed to book a place among the biggest 50 emerging markets banks.