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ABK records KD 32.5 mln net profit for 2016 – Board recommends cash dividend of 11 fils per share

Talal Behbehani, Chairman-Michel Accad, CEO, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 8: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) today announced an Operating Profit of KD 89.4 million for the financial year 2016 as compared to KD 87.3 million for 2015, a growth of 2.4 percent. This was due to a significant 14.8 percent jump in Operating Income, which reached KD 147.5 million, partly offset by cost increases as the Bank continues to invest in people and technology.

Net Profit at KD 32.5 million grew by KD 2 million or 7 percent compared to 2015. Earnings per share was 20 fils vs 19 fils during 2015, and return on equity was 5.8 percent. The Board of Directors have recommended a cash dividend of 11 fils per share compared to 10 fils in 2015, which is subject to approval of the Bank’s Annual General Meeting and financial regulators.

The Bank’s total assets and loans portfolio remained at KD 4.3 billion and KD 3.0 billion respectively. Total customer deposits rose 16.2 percent to KD 2.9 billion as the Bank aggressively diversified its deposit base. Shareholder Equity amounted to KD 555 million and the Capital Adequacy Ratio was very healthy at 17.67 percent.

Commenting on these results, Talal Mohammed Reza Behbehani, Chairman of Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait said, “We have recorded a positive performance with very solid operating results, which we are confident will continue and accelerate. The successful execution of our strategy and our cautious management approach are also a clear indication of the Bank’s progress. This will help ensure that ABK remains profitable and well insulated against instability in the market in the future.”

Michel Accad, Group CEO of Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait said: “ABK’s business strategy is both pragmatic and flexible. It revolves around three Pillars: higher contribution from our regional presence; renewed focus on the top line; and execution of our “Simpler Banking” strategy, which focuses on transformation technology initiatives and basic business process improvements to bring the best, friendliest and most convenient services to our customers.”

During 2016, the Bank completed the integration and rebranding of its Egypt acquisition. All 39 branches of ‘Piraeus Bank of Egypt’ have now been rebranded to Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait — Egypt (ABK-Egypt), and the integration of the Bank’s systems and management structure is being completed on schedule. ABK-Egypt has delivered very healthy profit and growth in its first year of operation post-acquisition, and more importantly, the Bank enjoys a foreign currency hedge position that substantially protects its capital against any devaluation or fluctuations in the value of the Egyptian Pound.

In line with its commitment to a simpler banking experience, ABK has launched several initiatives in the digital space. The Bank was one of the first in Kuwait to launch biometric fingerprint authentication on our mobile banking system, and ‘Touch ID’ has now replaced mobile banking passwords.

The Bank’s Website and Internet Banking have been redesigned with a simpler user experience in mind, and customers can now pay their utility bills online directly from their bank accounts. Callers to the Contact Centre are now identified by their phone numbers. The Call Centre platform has been completely replaced, improving efficiencies and reducing call duration by an average of 30 percent, whilst assigning priority queuing to Elite, VIP and International callers. All ABK branches have now been equipped with Cash Deposit machines, further simplifying the customer experience. More exciting initiatives are underway, to be unveiled in 2017.

Further maximizing the Bank’s reach across Kuwait with the expansion of the offsite ATM fleet from 55 to 80 machines, ABK is also focused on becoming more accessible to customers. It was recently certified in the two newest Visa Innovative payment solutions; ‘Verified by Visa’ for enhanced online security and ‘PayWave’ tap-and-go payment functionality.

The Bank received numerous awards during 2016 including the ‘Best Bank Transformation in the Middle East’ by Euromoney, ‘Deal of the Year’ by The Banker, ‘Best Retail Bank’ by Asian Banker ‘Retail Bank of the Year’ by The European, ‘Best Commercial Bank’ by Banker ME, ‘‘Employer of the Year’ by Naseba, LPI certification; the only Middle East financial institution to be accredited. Michel Accad was named ‘Bank CEO of the Year’ by CEO Magazine; a further testament to the Bank’s outstanding leadership and approach and ABK was also listed as one of the 50 safest banks in the Middle East by Global Finance.

ABK continued to maintain its strong investment grade ratings from international rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch, reflecting the Bank’s strong capital position, resilient earnings capacity, stable funding and liquidity sources.

For more information on Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, please visit www.eahli.com or contact an ABK customer service agent via ‘Ahlan Ahli’ at 1899899.

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