Diversification efforts are paying off, while technology is rapidly expanding possibilities, leading corporations and banks in the Middle East to focus on efficiency and optimization of cash management.
Best Overall Bank for Cash Management
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
National Bank of Abu Dhabi has consistently invested in building its cash management and transaction banking product offering and services in recent years, with the rollout of a number of solutions in the past year.
For example, the bank recently launched a receivables management and integrated information reporting solution to help simplify complex reconciliation and reporting requirements. It released an Escrow Management System and dramatically increased escrow management services. And it continued to improve its regional transaction services, rolling out its iBANKING digital banking solution in Oman and Egypt. NBAD is also keenly focused on how new fintech developments are changing the banking landscape. As the bank noted, “We are the first commercial bank globally to successfully execute a Blockchain pilot with Ripple.”
Best Bank for Liquidity Management
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
The bank offers a full suite of liquidity management and interest optimization solutions for its local and regional clients, including a range of cash concentration and reporting options. NBAD’s flexible sweeping solutions, multi-entity sweeping for 100% owned subsidiaries. Third-party sweeps are managed via SWIFT MT101 arrangements, and the bank can provide back-valued solutions—where sweeps for previous dates can be recalculated on back-valued transactions. Reverse sweeps—where the balances are returned at the start of the next working day from the Master back to the Participant account—are also supported.
The bank provides cash pooling for interest optimization, with support for tiered interest rates and interest allocation options for different accounts.
Liquidity and interest optimization solution can be accessed via NBAD’s iBANKING corporate digital banking platform.
Best Bank for Payments and Collections
Samba Financial Group
Samba stands out in particular for its tailored and unique payments and collections services for clients. The bank won a number of important new mandates in the past year on the strength of that position—and its soundly modern technological infrastructure.
For example, the bank was mandated to provide real-time online payments with host-to-host connectivity for Umrah pilgrims.
It also launched a unique service to manage dividend and coupon payments to shareholders or investors electronically through its Samba Access platform, using data feeds from the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). The bank released a billing and settlement engine for clients to upload, manage and pay invoices.
Best Provider of Short-Term Investments/ Money Market Funds
Banque Misr is one of the largest banks in Egypt. Established in 1920, Banque Misr now boasts 580 branches across the region and worldwide. The bank offers MMFs denominated in Egyptian pounds, dollars and euros.
With an extensive distribution network, and given the flexible, low risk structure, its Yom B Yom MMFs have seen impressive growth. They hold significant market share on the back of higher yields versus current accounts and deposits—and as a result of the bank’s flexible liquidity and investing solutions.
Best Bank for Working Capital Optimization
The combination of Citi’s longstanding, deep penetration of Middle Eastern markets coupled with its global, market-leading solutions for working capital optimization make it easily the best bank for companies in the region to work with in this area.
It boasts a full suite of financial supply chain solutions to help companies improve efficiency in their working capital cycles, including a wide range of trade finance and supplier finance programs, distributor finance and export-credit agency backed working capital programs. Its powerful Working Capital Analytics service can help companies have a clearer picture of their working capital cycle, benchmark that to peers and determine effective working capital enhancement opportunities.