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ABK posts KD 35.4 mln net profit in 2013 EPS clocks 22 fils, up 16%

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait achieved KD 81.5 million operating profits and KD 35.4 million net profits for the financial year ended 31 December 2013 representing an 18% growth in net profits from the previous year. Earnings per share grew by 16% to 22 fils. Total assets grew by 7% to KD 3.19 billion, customer deposits grew by 6% to KD 1.95 billion and shareholders’ equity grew by 5% to KD 540.8 million. This growth in performance translated in higher returns on assets of 1.15%and on equity of 6.70%. Asset quality and provision coverage ratios improved significantly compared to 2012.  Capital Adequacy at 26.93%remained strong and robust well above industry levels.

In view of these results the Board of Directors has recommended to the General Assembly a cash dividend of 13 fils per share to be distributed to the shareholders registered in the Bank’s records as on the date of the General Assembly Meeting.  Such recommendation shall be subject to the approval of the ABK General Assembly Meeting and the competent regulatory authorities.

Performance
Commenting on the Bank’s performance for 2013, Ahmed Yousuf Behbehani, Chairman of the Board, stated the following:
These results reflect a solid all round performance by the Bank with all key business indicators growing despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions. The Bank’s disciplined balance sheet management, income diversification strategies, strong revenue generating capability and profitability metrics have enabled us to deliver these results as we also continued to improve our operating efficiencies, containing spending and holding costs in check. On provisioning we continued to remain prudent and conservative in our policies as we built up our precautionary provision coverage while our risk management practices became even more vigilant and focused. We have met with some success during the year as we managed to reduce our non-performing assets and continue our efforts to improve asset quality.

Our strong capital adequacy which is the highest among domestic peers and well ahead of international norms gives us the capacity and resilience to absorb losses and sufficient capital to expand operations, strengths that give us a strong foundation for growth in the coming years as opportunities arise, some indications of which were already visible in the form of increased credit off take as seen during the latter half of this year with more government projects coming on stream. Further, we have also maintained our credit ratings at investment grade from international rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch which recognise the Bank’s strong capital position, earnings capacity and resilience, and stable funding and liquidity sources.

Commenting on the Bank’s branches, the Chairman stated the following:
Currently the Bank has a retail franchise of 30 branches with 28 branches in Kuwait and 2 in the UAE, one each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with plans to further expand the network to better serve customers and meet their expectations. Customer service is of utmost importance to us and we continue to invest in technology, develop of new products to satisfy customer needs, and improve our processes to provide better services to our customers. On the regulatory side we have implemented new policies and processes to comply with the new Corporate Governance regulations issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait and are ready to comply with the new FATCA and Basel III regulations when introduced.

Strategies
The Chairman stated that the Bank is well placed to capitalise on opportunities as the local economy improves and to take advantage in the UAE of the economic impetus expected following Dubai’s Expo 2020 win. The Bank had also developed appropriate strategies to perpetuate and enhance the Bank’s profitability and value proposition for its shareholders and customers. In conclusion, he thanked the Bank’s valued customers for their trust and confidence, the management and staff for their hard work and loyalty, the Board of Directors for their guidance and supervision, and shareholders for their continued support and faith.

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