KUWAIT CITY, July 11: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported net profits of KD 164.7 million ($543.5 million) for the period of 1H 2017 compared to KD 150.6 million ($497.1 million) for the same period in 2016. NBK’s profits during the 1H 2017 grew by 9.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
NBK’s 2Q 2017 net profits reached KD 79.3 million ($261.8 million), compared to KD 71.7 million ($236.6 million) for the same period in 2016 recording an increase of 10.7 percent YoY.
As of end of June 2017, NBK’s total assets grew by 5.8 percent on annual basis, to reach KD 25.5 billion ($84.0 billion), while total shareholders’ equity increased by 1.0 percent to KD 2.9 billion ($9.5 billion). Customer loans and advances, as of end of June 2017, have also grown by 4.6 percent compared to the same period last year, to reach KD 14.3 billion ($47.3 billion) while customers’ deposits grew by 8.0 percent to reach KD 13.6 billion ($44.8 billion).
Non-performing Loans (NPLs) dropped to 1.23 percent as of end of June 2017 from 1.40 percent as of June 2016, while coverage ratio increased to 371 percent compared to 330 percent last year.
Capital adequacy ratio reached 17.5 percent as of end of June 2017 ahead of all regulatory requirements.
NBK’s Chairman Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer, said: “The continuity of growth in NBK’s profits during the 1H 2017, is yet another evidence and confirmation of the strength and soundness of the Bank’s financial position and its prudent operational vision and successful strategy which the Bank has consistently adopted.”
Al-Sayer has also shed light on the continuing improvement of the quality of the Bank’s assets in addition to the conservative policies which represent secure buffers against adverse regional developments and their impact on the general economic environment in the different markets that the Bank operates in.
Al-Sayer reiterated that NBK’s results in the 1H 2017 reflect the solid growth of the real banking activities, indicating the increase in the net operating income by 10.1 percent YoY, which asserts the strong position of the bank in all its markets, capitalizing on emerging opportunities domestically, and regionally.
Al-Sayer highlighted that the progress in the economic activity in Kuwait on the back of the strong project tendering and awarding activities, supported a strong pipeline of transactions which reflected positively on private sector activity.
Lending growth momentum for key government projects continues and expansionary plans despite the impact of falling oil prices remained strong. This confirms the limited impact of lower oil prices on the Kuwaiti economy compared to other economies in the region, which is a result of the huge reserves and the solid financial position that Kuwait possesses.
Al-Sayer added that in recognition of the Bank’s strong funding base, strong deposit franchise and healthy liquidity profile; NBK continues to be in a very favorable position as a key player in financing mega infrastructure projects.
NBK’s Group CEO, Isam Jasim Al-Sager, highlighted that during the 1H 2017, the Bank successfully issued a $750 million five-year Senior Unsecured Securities under 144A/Regulation S. The issuance came under NBK’s new $3.0 billion Global Medium-Term Note (GMTN) Program. The receipts from the issuance will be used to further diversify the Bank’s funding base, boost liquidity and increase liability durations.
The transaction was very well received by regional and international investors with the Order Book closing at $2.2 billion; translating to around 2.9x oversubscription for the deal. The notes carry a fixed interest rate of 2.75 percent per annum payable semi-annually in arrears and were rated Aa3 by Moody’s and AA- by Fitch, in line with NBK’s ratings.
Al-Sager also stated that the issuance come in line with the Bank’s strategy of enhancing its funding profile by diversifying the funding sources and extending the liabilities duration. US-based investors dominated the deal with 57 percent share of the issuance, followed by MENA investors at 26 percent, European investors at 13 percent and 4 percent from Asia.
The strong demand along with the diversified, high-quality investor base are testimony to NBK’s superior name in international markets and how it is perceived as being a top-quality institution by international investors.
Al-Sager also emphasized the position of NBK and its important role in leading huge multi-billion schemes and financing of large strategic projects, placing the Bank in a unique position to be the prime partner for companies’ expansionary plans domestically, regionally and globally.
In addition, Al-Sager praised the Bank’s continuous efforts in diversifying its sources of income and revenue streams, while enhancing its leading position domestically and regionally through developing business and services provided to customers.
Domestically, NBK maintained its high market share and continued to improve its earnings from its ownership in Boubyan Bank whose performance is witnessing strong growth since NBK’s acquisition of 58.4 percent of its shares in 2012.
On the regional and international fronts, Al-Sager confirmed that the contribution from non-Kuwait operations continues to demonstrate the ongoing benefits that the Bank is earning. During the 1H 2017, NBK generated 27 percent of its net profits from its operations outside Kuwait, confirming its successful diversification strategy.
NBK continues to enjoy collectively one of 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 eleventh consecutive time and was awarded as the Best Bank in Kuwait in 2016 by the Banker, Euromoney and Global Finance.
NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with a local and international network reaching 4 continents. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including New York, Europe, GCC, Middle East, Singapore as well as China (Shanghai).