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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 7: Ahli United Bank K.S.C.P. (AUBK) announced its results for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2020, by confirming taking all required measures, and raising precautionary and impairment provisions to consider the currently assessed impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the materially impacted business sectors. Accordingly, the Bank has recorded a net profit for 2020 amounting to KD 29.7 million which is lower by 46% against KD 55.0 million of 2019.
The Bank has positioned itself to prudently expand the financing activities and extend all possible support to the business sectors and clients affected by the pandemic by way of deferment of financing receivable installments. Bank’s total assets is recorded at KD 4.4 billion at the end of December 2020. The financing receivable portfolio has grown to reach KD 3.1 billion as of December 2020 (2019 : KD 3.0 billion) while customer deposits have also grown to reach KD 3.0 billion against KD 2.7 billion reported last year representing a growth of 11.5%. Shareholders equity stood at KD 443 million at the end of 2020 while Earnings per share (EPS) stood at 13.5 fils at the end of the year, compared to 26.5 fils in 2019.
Given the unprecedented and challenging year gone by and underlying financial results, the Board of Directors has recommended the distribution of bonus share at 10% representing ten shares for every hundred shares held at the record date. The proposed stock dividend is subject to shareholders’ approval at the Annual general meeting scheduled to be convened in March 2021.
Commenting on the results, Dr. Anwar Al-Mudhaf, Chairman of Ahli United Bank said: Covid-19 pandemic had become a reality by March 2020, which has had a negative impact on all economic sectors, including the financial sector all over the world. Despite the exceptional and difficult circumstances caused by this pandemic which was not seen since its inception 80 years ago, our extensive experience in dealing with various crisis and successfully managing them helped us in dealing with the consequences of this pandemic. Thanks to our robust adapting Risk management framework to the evolving pandemic and the dedication and excellence of our executive management and employees, we managed to maintain assets quality and raise additional precautionary provisions for future implication which may occur as a result of Covid-19 outbreak. It reflects the Bank’s conservative policy the efficiency, of its prudent risk management plans which is in line with CBK directives in this respect.
Dr. Al-Mudhaf emphasized that AUB effectiveness in managing the consequences of the pandemic would not have been achieved without the efforts of the Government of Kuwait and Central Bank of Kuwait and their dedication to protecting the health of citizens and residents and helping banks’ affected clients. Likewise, we would not been able to contain this crisis without the support of our shareholders, the confidence of our clients, the capabilities of our senior management and all members of the Bank’s team and their dedicated efforts, especially those working in the front lines at branches to meet the urgent needs of clients during the various phases of the crisis.
Dr. Al-Mudhaf added: We are continuing our efforts to meet the health and economic challenges imposed by the pandemic which negatively impacted economic growth rates in creating weaker demand and supply, in all markets and deterioration in the stock and financial markets in addition to a collapse in the international oil prices. The Bank is sparing no effort to strike a balance between satisfying the customer needs, provide relief and push the economic growth from one side and apply the maximum health and safety measures on customers and employees on the other side.
Mrs. Jehad Saud Al-Humaidhi, Acting CEO of Ahli United Bank, said despite these exceptional circumstances, Ahli United Bank was able to continue to achieve success, depending on a flexible business model and a clear business strategy to attain sustainable growth, which is evident through its winning of several awards, including: Best Bank in Online Cash Management for the year 2020 in Kuwait within the corporate banking sector for the fourth year in a row which supports the Bank’s commitment towards digital banking. It is further with the recognition of the role of system and data security and the adoption of advanced protocols to protect the customer data and the bank’s systems, the Bank was awarded the award of “Best Bank in Information Security Protection and Fraud Management” in Kuwait for 2020; both from Global Finance Magazine. On the other hand, the Bank continued to carry its core responsibilities towards social developments with business plans appreciated by the communities whereby the Bank won the award of “Best Corporate Social Responsibility Bank” in Kuwait for the year 2020 by International Finance Magazine, the global financial journal.
The Bank has further awarded the award of the “Best ATM and Financial Kiosks Initiatives, Application and Program in Middle East” by Asian Banker Middle East and Africa confirming the innovation of the Bank in coping with the latest technologies in the field beside the recent attestation received by the Bank through the International Standard ISO/IEC 27001/2013 Certification which confirms AUB’s adoption of the latest standards and procedures on system and data security and continued its commitment to manage and assess inherited risks.
Al-Humaidhi affirmed that we put the safety of our customers and employees on our list of priorities, by developing an integrated plan to ensure our human resourses safety and the continuation of business and services with the necessary efficiency. We have relied on our distinguished digital platforms, which have proven their readiness and efficiency in providing safe and appropriate services that allow customers to continue completing their banking transactions without leaving their homes, in the interest of their safety and the safety of their families and the community.
We continue to provide our banking services around the clock, and we are keen to receive our customers through the bank’s branches while adopting the required health and preventive measures for both the bank’s customers and employees and with the gradual return to economic activities, we are beginning to see an improvement in the volume of business.
Al- Humaidhi emphasized that we are optimistic about the recent positive developments in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, by development of vaccines and treatments and we hope that 2021 will witness a gradual breakthrough in this crisis, which will be reflected in enhancing consumer confidence and encourage commerce and trade while protecting the general health of both local and international communities.
Al-Humaidhi concluded by extending thanks and appreciation to the Management and the employees of the Bank for their dedication and cooperation which has assisted in overcoming the implication of this pandemic and confirmed again the resilience, readiness and solid resources of the Bank to cope with any shortcomings that may come in the future