Kuwaiti Banks Thrive with Remarkable 46.5% Profit Surge in 2023

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 29: Nine local banks reported a significant profit growth of 46.5 percent in the first nine months of 2023, representing an increase of 386.7 million dinars. This substantial rise elevated the combined profits of these banks from 830.55 million dinars in the same period in 2022 to 1.217 billion dinars in 2023.

In the third quarter of 2023 alone, the profits of these banks surged by 49.6 percent, or approximately 122.2 million dinars, reaching 368.7 million dinars, compared to 246.45 million dinars in the third quarter of 2022.

Leading the pack in profit growth was KFH, with a remarkable 124.3 percent increase, amassing profits of 461.5 million dinars in the first nine months of 2023. The National Bank of Kuwait followed closely, with profits amounting to 431.1 million dinars, showcasing a growth of 15.2 percent. The Commercial Bank recorded an impressive 139 percent increase in profits, reaching 99 million dinars.

Boubyan Bank secured the fourth position with a value of 61.1 million dinars, reflecting a growth of 25.7 percent, while Gulf Bank recorded a growth of 17.7 percent, totaling approximately 53.8 million dinars. “Ahli United” posted profits of 33.45 million dinars, a growth of 10.1 percent, and the National Bank reported an 18.7 percent growth, with profits reaching about 32.64 million dinars. On the other hand, Burgan Bank’s profits stood at 30.1 million dinars, indicating a decrease of 26.9 percent, and Warba Bank recorded profits of 14.33 million dinars, reflecting a decline of 8.3 percent.

This significant increase in bank profits is attributed to an improved operating environment during the three months ending in September, compared to previous quarterly periods. The profits were further bolstered by the Central Bank of Kuwait’s multiple interest rate hikes over the last two years to align with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases. This move aimed to maintain the strength and competitiveness of the Kuwaiti dinar against the dollar and discourage the trend of selling the dinar and buying the dollar.

According to data from the Central Bank of Kuwait for the month of September, local banks demonstrated marked improvements in various aspects of their financial health. Notably, the total assets of local banks grew by 1.1 percent, reaching 85.428 billion dinars, up from 84.486 billion dinars at the end of December.

The net foreign assets of local banks increased by 2.9 percent, amounting to 10.655 billion dinars in September, compared to 10.354 billion dinars at the end of December.

However, shareholders’ equity in local banks experienced a marginal decrease of 0.25 percent, with a total of 14.33 billion dinars in September, compared to 14.37 billion dinars in December 2022.

The balance of total cash credit facilities provided by banks to all sectors also grew during the first half of 2023 by 0.7 percent, totaling 52.828 billion dinars at the end of September, up from 52.447 billion dinars in December.

By Ahmad Fathi
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

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