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KUWAIT CITY, March 18: Gulf Bank concluded its Ordinary Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) No. 64, and Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) No. 41, held at the Bank headquarters, Mubarak Al-Kabir Street – Kuwait, on Saturday 18 March 2023, with a 76.79 quorum. Electoronic voting was conducted during the general assembly for the first time.
Gulf Bank’s Chairman, Mr. Jasem Mustafa Boodai, commenced the meeting by welcoming the shareholders and highlighting the Bank’s major business and strategic accomplishments throughout 2022. He added: “The Bank 2022 results demonstrate excellent strategic progress with Gulf Bank delivering strong net profit, sustained by the growth momentum in our core businesses. We are reaping the benefits of our strategy to stay locally focused and addressing the changing needs of our customers through digital innovation, continued investment in differentiated customer solutions and human capital. We made tremendous strides towards our key strategic priorities centered around digital transformation initiatives to improve the customer experience, accelerate development and further drive operational efficiencies. We are aiming to generate strong and sustainable long-term value to all our stakeholders.”
Mr. Boodai noted: “That the economy continued to show resilience and positive signals during the year 2022, despite a challenging global market and an uncertain global economic outlook. These challenges included high inflation levels, tighter monetary policy, and amongst others. However, the local economy remained stable, supported by good oil prices, recovery of economic activity, specifically in the private sector, and ongoing structural reforms.”
Following Mr. Boodai’s opening remarks, Gulf Bank’s Deputy CEO and Acting CEO, Mr. Waleed Khaled Mandani, presented the Bank major key financial highlights of Gulf Bank’s performance during 2022. Mr. Waleed stated “Gulf Bank delivered a good set of results during 2022, with net profit reaching KD 61.8 million – an increase of 47% from last year, reflecting the strong underlying performance of the Bank’s core businesses. Loans and advances to customers on the other hand, reached KD 5.2 billion – an increase of KD 319 million or 7%, in comparison to the end of 2021. This growth in 2022 came from both the Bank’s Corporate and Consumer segments.” Mr. Waleed Continued: ” The non-performing loan ratio for the year end 2022 was 1.1%, with a strong non-performing loans coverage ratio of 504% including total provisions and collaterals. The Bank ended the year 2022 with a total credit provision at KD 313 million whereas IFRS 9 accounting requirements (i.e., ECL or expected credit losses) were KD 190 million, resulting in a very healthy excess provisioning level of KD 124 million.”
Mr. Waleed added: “The Bank’s regulatory capital ratios remained comfortable as the Tier 1 ratio of 14.2% was 3.7% above our regulatory minimum of 10.5% and the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 16.4% was 3.9% above our regulatory minimum of 12.5%.”
On the credit worthiness front, Mr. Waleed indicated that Gulf Bank continues to be well recognized in terms of its creditworthiness and financial strength internationally. During the year 2022, Fitch Ratings has upgraded Gulf Bank’s Viability Rating to ‘bbb-‘ from ‘bb+’ and affirmed the Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating at ‘A’ with a Stable Outlook. In addition to Fitch Ratings’ Viability Rating upgrade and affirmation of Gulf Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating at ‘A’ with a ‘Stable’ Outlook, the Bank has a Long-term Foreign Currency Rating of ‘A+’ with a ‘Stable’ Outlook by Capital Intelligence Ratings and a Long-Term Deposits rating of ‘A3’ with a ‘Stable’ Outlook by Moody’s Investor Services during the year 2022.
AGM and EGM Shareholders Approval
After Mr. Waleed presentation, Gulf Bank’s Chairman, Mr. Jasem Mustafa Boodai went through the rest of the AGM agenda items, including the approval of Gulf Bank’s financial statement as on 31 December 2022 and the Board of Directors recommendation to distribute cash dividends of 10 fils per share and 5% bonus shares for shareholders representing a 51% cash payout ratio. These distributions are entitled to shareholders registered in the Bank’s shareholders’ records; with the due date set for April 13, 2023. The shareholders approved all the AGM agenda items.
Subsequently, Gulf Bank held its Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting No. 41 to approve increasing the Bank issued and paid-up capital from KD 320,053,429.200 to KD 336,056,100.600 and amend related Articles 2 and 4 of the Bank’s Memorandum of Association and 2 and 5 of the Bank’s Articles of Association accordingly. The shareholders approved all of the Extraordinary General Assembly agenda items.