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NBK records net profit of $844 mln in 2013 Total assets growth reach 12.8% y/y

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 22: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank, reported net profits of $844 million (KD 238.1 million) for the year 2013 compared with $1,082 million (KD 305.1 million) in 2012. Adjusting for the $289 million (KD 81.5 million) exceptional gains recognized in 2012 on the consolidation of Boubyan Bank, net profits recorded a 6.5% year on year growth. As of end of 2013, NBK Group’s total assets reached $66.0 billion (KD 18.6 billion) up 12.8% compared to year-end 2012, while total shareholders’ equity increased by 3.3% year on year to $8.4 billion (KD 2.37 billion). Loans and advances reached $37.9 billion (KD 10.7 billion) at year-end 2013 up 8.5% compared to year-end 2012 and customer deposits reached $37.1 billion (KD 10.5 billion), up 10.2% compared to last year. Asset quality ratios continued to improve with Non-performing loans (NPL) to gross loans ratio dropping to 1.96% in year-end 2013 from 2.75% in 2012 and NPL coverage ratio increasing to 200% at year-end 2013 from 157% last year.

NBK’s board of directors has recommended a cash dividend of 30 fils per share (30% of the par value) and 5% bonus shares. Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer said “NBK’s profits for the year affirm the group’s strong financial position, market leadership and its conservative strategy, all contributing to the high credit ratings ahead of regional and international financial institutions.” Despite the challenges in the corporate domestic market and the political instability in some of the regional markets, the bank managed to deliver a strong set of results. “We continued to focus on core banking business across our locations. In the year 2013, excluding the exceptional gain recognized last year, NBK’s net operating income grew by 10.2% year on year to $2,220 million (KD 626.3 million),” Dabdoub added. 

Dabdoub also confirmed that the domestic operating environment continued to improve and the overall outlook is turning more positive. “We have started witnessing some acceleration in the tendering, award and execution of some of the large projects as the government proves determined to advance the execution of the development plan.” Strategically, Dabdoub also highlighted that NBK is progressively implementing its income diversification strategy. “Our regional and international strategy remains on track. We are focusing our efforts on the GCC countries to leverage NBK’s strong franchise there and to benefit from the strong economic outlook and the growth opportunities available. In 2013 NBK Group’s international banking profits grew by 9.5% year on year confirming the strength of NBK’s international operations. Moreover, our expansion into Islamic banking through the acquisition of 58.4% of Boubyan Bank continues to pay off as Boubyan’s contribution to the group’s profitability and balance sheet increases over time,” Dabdoub added.

NBK continues to enjoy collectively the highest ratings among all banks in the Middle East from the three international rating agencies Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team. NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the eighth consecutive time.
NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with an international network reaching 170 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey.

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