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NBK posts net profit of KD 144.8 mln in first half Total assets reaches KD 20 bln, up 11.7 pct from 2013 H1

KUWAIT CITY, July 16: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported net profits of $514 million (KD 144.8 million) for the first half of 2014 compared with $456 million (KD 128.5 million) for the same period in 2013, growing 12.6% year-on-year. As of end of June 2014, NBK Group’s total assets reached $71.1 billion (KD 20.0 billion) up 11.7% compared to June 2013, while total shareholders’ equity increased by 5.3% year-on-year to $8.9 billion (KD 2.52 billion). Customer loans and advances reached $40.0 billion (KD 11.3 billion) as of end of June 2014, growing at 9.6% year-on-year, while customer deposits grew by 7.7% for the same period to reach $38.7 billion (KD10.9 billion). NBK asset quality remained exceptionally strong with NPLs/Gross loans improving to 1.81% as of end of June 2014 and NPL coverage reaching 229.6%.

Isam Al-Sager, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer said “with net profits growing at 12.6% year-on-year, NBK continues delivering solid results. NBK’s conservative management practices and its strong financial position helped the bank sustain its profitability and resilient market position”. 
Al-Sager highlighted that the operating environment in Kuwait continues to show strong signs of improvement reflecting a pickup in economic activity and accordingly better banking sector performance. “There is a noticeable improvement in the process of tendering, award and execution of the large infrastructure projects, which has also reflected positively on the overall private sector sentiment and accordingly on banks’ credit growth. This is a trend we hope will continue.” Al-Sager added.
“NBK continued to focus on core banking activities in and outside Kuwait as the main driver of income growth. In the 1H2014, net operating income grew 6.2% year-on-year to $1,177 million (KD 331.7 million).” Al-Sager added. 
Al-Sager also reaffirmed NBK’s strategic direction as a leading bank in Kuwait and the region with the aim of further diversifying its income sources. In Kuwait, the bank continued to strengthen its market position, while the acquisition of 58.4% stake in Boubyan Bank in 2012, remains a differentiator to NBK’s operations in Kuwait as Boubyan continues to offer strong growth outlook for the Group.
Regionally, the performance of NBK’s international and regional operations continued to deliver healthy performance, emphasizing the bank’s position as a leading regional bank. In 1H2014, NBK’s international operations contributed 23% to the group’s profits despite the ongoing political challenges is some of the locations.  
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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